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Solar-Powered Remote-Control Cockroaches!

I've done remote-controlled cockroach stories before (see HI-MEMS: Cyborg Beetle Microsystem), but these remote-controlled cockroaches have solar power on their side! Not just battery powered.


( Remote-controlled cyborg cockroaches, equipped with
a tiny wireless control module that is powered by a
rechargeable battery attached to a solar cell.
)

Researchers have engineered a system for creating remote-controlled cyborg cockroaches, equipped with a tiny wireless control module that is powered by a rechargeable battery attached to a solar cell. Despite the mechanical devices, ultrathin electronics and flexible materials allow the insects to move freely...

For the use of cyborg insects to be practical, however, handlers must be able to control them remotely for long stretches of time...

Keeping the battery adequately charged is critical—nobody wants a suddenly out-of-control swarm of cyborg cockroaches roaming around. While docking stations for recharging the battery could be built, the need to return and recharge could disrupt time-sensitive missions. Therefore, an optimum approach is to include an onboard solar cell that can continuously ensure that the battery stays charged.

Scientists got the idea for remote-controlled insects from the 1990 science fiction novel Sparrowhawk, by Thomas A. Easton. Dr. Easton, a professor of science at Thomas College. In the novel, he writes about genetically engineered animals that are greatly enlarged, and then outfitted with implanted control structures.

"There's the brain, the spinal chord, the motor centers. A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain." She explained how the controller, a computer, translated movements of the tiller or control yoke and the throttle and brake pedals into electrical signals and routed them as appropriate to the jets or the genimal's motor centers, triggering the genimal's own nervous system into commanding its muscles to serve the driver. All the necessary programming was built into the hardware...
(Read more about the Roachster)

Why not move your mousing finger down the trackpad, hovering over one of the following articles, then just twitch that forefinger muscle just a bit...

  - HI-MEMS: Cyborg Beetle Microsystem
  - Spy Moth Cyborg On/Off Switch Perfected
  - Radio-Controlled Beetle By UC Berkeley
  - Remote-Controlled Cyborg Beetle Video
  - Roboroach Slalom Steering Video
  - Roboroach Control? There's An App For That
  - Roboroach Now Shipping!
  - Steerable Locusts Detect Explosives

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/9/2022)

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