Cyborg Insects

WhistlingJack

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
3,530
From Times Online

May 24, 2007


Can cyborg moths bring down terrorists?

A moth which has a computer chip implanted in it while in the cocoon will enable soldiers to spy on insurgents, the US military hopes
Scientists are growing flesh around computer parts to create cyborg moths, which can be controlled remotely


Jonathan Richards

At some point in the not too distant future, a moth will take flight in the hills of northern Pakistan, and flap towards a suspected terrorist training camp.

But this will be no ordinary moth.

Inside it will be a computer chip that was implanted when the creature was still a pupa, in the cocoon, meaning that the moth's entire nervous system can be controlled remotely.

The moth will thus be capable of landing in the camp without arousing suspicion, all the while beaming video and other information back to its masters via what its developers refer to as a "reliable tissue-machine interface."

The creation of insects whose flesh grows around computer parts – known from science fiction as 'cyborgs' – has been described as one of the most ambitious robotics projects ever conceived by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), the research and development arm of the US Department of Defense.

Rod Brooks, director of the computer science and artificial intelligence lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which is involved with the research, said that robotics was increasingly at the forefront of US military research, and that the remote-controlled moths, described by DARPA as Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, or MEMS, were one of a number of technologies soon to be deployed in combat zones.

"This is going to happen," said Mr Brooks. "It's not science like developing the nuclear bomb, which costs billions of dollars. It can be done relatively cheaply."

"Moths are creatures that need little food and can fly all kinds of places," he continued. "A bunch of experiments have been done over the past couple of years where simple animals, such as rats and cockroaches, have been operated on and driven by joysticks, but this is the first time where the chip has been injected in the pupa stage and 'grown' inside it.

"Once the moth hatches, machine learning is used to control it."

Mr Brooks, who has worked on robotic technology for more than 30 years and whose company iRobot already supplies the US military with robots that defuse explosive devices laid by insurgents, said that the military would be increasingly reliant on 'semi-autonomous' devices, including ones which could fire.

"The DoD has said it wants one third of all missions to be unmanned by 2015, and there's no doubt their things will become weaponised, so the question comes: should they given targeting authority?

"The prevailing view in the army at the moment seems to be that they shouldn't, but perhaps it's time to consider updating treaties like the Geneva Convention to include clauses which regulate their use."

Debates such as those over stem cell research would "pale in comparison" to the increasingly blurred distinction between creatures – including humans – and machines, Mr Brooks, told an audience at the University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science.

"Biological engineering is coming. There are already more than 100,000 people with cochlear implants, which have a direct neural connection, and chips are being inserted in people's retinas to combat macular degeneration. By the 2012 Olympics, we're going to be dealing with systems which can aid the oxygen uptake of athletes.

"There's going to be more and more technology in our bodies, and to stomp on all this technology and try to prevent it happening is just? well, there's going to be a lot of moral debates," he said.

Another robot developed as part of the US military's 'Future Combat Systems' program was a small, unmanned vehicle known as a SUGV (pronounced 'sug-vee') which could be dispatched in front of troops to gauge the threat in an urban environment, Mr Brooks said.

The 13.6kg device, which measures less than a metre squared and can survive a drop of 10m onto concrete, has a small 'head' with infra-red and regular cameras which send information back to a command unit, as well as an audio-sensing feature called 'Red Owl' which can determine the direction from which enemy fire originates.

"It's designed to be the troop's eyes and ears and, unlike one of its predecessors, this one can swim, too," Mr Brooks said.

© Copyright 2007 Times Newspapers Ltd

Scradje
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
54,145
Location
Eblana
Some more on cyborg insects. Vid at link.

Video: Pentagon’s Cyborg Beetle Takes Flight
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/09 ... es-flight/

By Sharon Weinberger September 24, 2009 |

The creation of a cyborg insect army has just taken a step closer to reality. A research team at the University of California Berkeley recently announced that it has successfully implanted electrodes into a beetle allowing scientists to control the insect’s movements in flight. “We demonstrated the remote control of insects in free flight via an implantable radioequipped miniature neural stimulating system,” the researchers reported in their new paper for Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience. ” The pronotum mounted system consisted of neural stimulators, muscular stimulators, a radio transceiver-equipped microcontroller and a microbattery.”

The research, supported by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is part of a broader effort, called the HI-MEMS program, which has been looking specifically at different approaches to implanting micro-mechanical systems into insects in order to control their movements.

A number of research teams working on this ambitious project have reported specific successes. For example, researchers at the University of Michigan have demonstrated implants in a flying moth, but the Berkeley scientists appear to have demonstrated an impressive degree of control over their insect’s flight; they report being able to use an implant for neural stimulation of the beetle’s brain to start, stop, and control the insect in flight. They could even command turns by stimulating the basalar muscles.

Eventually, the mind-controlled insects could be used to “serve as couriers to locations not easily accessible to humans or terrestrial robots,” they note.
 

jubecrew

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
219
:lol: ohh big brother

does this concern anyone else that these things will be in product in the next 7 years more then likely?

I woudn't doubt this trickles over to human beings to become unbeknownst assassins
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
54,145
Location
Eblana
Another relevant article.

Locust flight simulator helps robot insects evolve
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 ... volve.html

A LOCUST flight simulator could be the key to perfecting the ultimate surveillance machine: an artificial flying insect. The simulator can model the way wings of varying shapes and surface features beat, as well as how they change their shape during flight.

The device was created using extremely high-speed flash photography to track the way smoke particles flow over a locust's wings in a wind tunnel - a technique called particle flow velocimetry. This allowed researchers at the University of Oxford to build a computer model of the insect's wing motion. They then built software that mimicked not only this motion, but also how wing surface features, such as structural veins and corrugations, and the wings' deformation as they flap, change aerodynamic performance.

The work has shown that wings' surface structures are crucial to efficient lift generation, says lead researcher Adrian Thomas (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1175928).

The simulator could be a big step forward for the many teams around the world who are designing robotic insects, mainly for military purposes, though Thomas expects them to have a massive role as toys, too. "Imagine sitting in your living room doing aerial combat with radio-controlled dragonflies. Everybody would love that," he says.

Imagine sitting in your living room doing aerial combat with remote-controlled dragonflies
Until now, modelling insect wings involved building physical replicas from rigid materials and estimating how they might move from observations of insect flight. Thomas hopes the simulator will take the guesswork out of the process, especially as every flying insect has uniquely shaped wings and wing beat patterns.

Building miniature aircraft is of great interest to the armed forces. In the UK, for example, the Ministry of Defence wants to create a device that can fly in front of a convoy and detect explosives on the road ahead. In the US, the Pentagon's research arm DARPA is funding development of a "nano air vehicle" (NAV) for surveillance that it states must weigh no more than 10 grams and have only a 7.5-centimetre wingspan.

Last month, DARPA contractor AeroVironment of Monrovia, California, demonstrated the first two-winged robot capable of hovering flight (see video at http://bit.ly/18LR8U). It achieved a stable take-off and hovered for 20 seconds. Other DARPA-funded projects by Micropropulsion and Daedalus Flight Systems are also thought to have achieved hovering robotic flight this year.

"Getting stable hover at the 10-gram size scale with beating wings is an engineering breakthrough, requiring much new understanding and invention," says Ronald Fearing, a micromechanics and flight researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. "The next step will be to get the flight efficiency up so hover can work for several minutes."

But how can such machines be made more efficient? Better batteries and lighter materials will help, but most important will be improving wing structure so the aircraft more accurately imitate - or even improve upon - the way insects fly.

So how do insects fly? For a long time no one really knew. In 1919, German aeronautical engineer Wilhelm Hoff calculated that a pollen-laden bumblebee should not have enough lift to get airborne according to the rules of aerodynamics as understood at the time.

It wasn't until 1981 that Tony Maxworthy of the University of Southern California hit on a possible reason: his working model of a fly's wings, immersed in oil, showed large vortices were spinning off the leading edge of the wing as it beat (Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, vol 13, p 329). Within the vortices air is moving at high velocity, and is therefore at low pressure, hinting at a lift-creating mechanism unlike that of conventional aircraft, in which an angled wing travelling forward deflects air downwards, creating an opposing upward force.

In 1996 Thomas was a member of Charles Ellington's team at the University of Cambridge, which identified the mechanism by which bugs created high lift forces - using a model of a hawkmoth. "We found a leading-edge vortex that was stable over the whole of the downstroke," says Thomas.

The nature of the leading-edge vortex is dependent on the size of the wings, their number, the pattern described by the beating wing and the wing structure.

This work has laid the foundations for researchers such as Robert Wood and his team at Harvard University, who are investigating ways to make insect wings (Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, DOI: 10.1088/1748-3182/4/3/036002). They have developed a new way to build flexible wings from moulds using microchip manufacturing techniques. Using elastic polymers and elegant, vein-like supporting structures, the researchers can build wings with variable camber, and with different corrugations embossed in them, in an attempt to mimic the in-flight aerodynamics and deformation of real insect wings.

Thomas is also focusing on the way insect wings deform in flight. "If we use a wing model with all the complex curves, twists and corrugations of the real insect it is 50 per cent more efficient than a model with rigid flat-plate wings, for the same lift generation. That would be a huge saving in power for a micro air vehicle," he says.

Although the Oxford team's simulator is geared for locust wings at present, the researchers are adjusting the software to model the hoverfly - with other insect types to follow.

"What we've shown is that modern aerodynamics really can accurately model insect flight," Thomas says. "That old myth about aerodynamics not being able to model bumblebee flight really is dead now."
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
54,145
Location
Eblana
Images and vid at link.

Darpa's Cyborg Insect Spies, Now Nuclear-Powered
http://www.popsci.com/technology/articl ... sect-spies
By Stuart Fox Posted 12.10.2009 at 6:02 pm 9 Comments


Remote Controlled Cyborg Beetle via Wired's Danger Room

When you write for Popular Science, it's easy to become desensitized to wild and crazy future tech. To wit: When I first heard that Darpa wanted to develop cyborg insects to carry surveillance equipment, I thought "ok, cyborg insect spies are pretty cool, but not blowing me away."

Then today, Cornell researchers working on the program unveiled a prototype transmitter for the cyborg bugs that runs on radioactive isotopes. Nuclear powered cyborg insect spies? Ok, now you have my attention.

While the bugs can fly under their own power, any electronics added to the lil' sentry for keeping in contact with HQ or other cyborg drones in the swarm need some kind of external power. And a radioactive isotope working as a nuclear battery does the trick perfectly. The isotope in question is Nickle-23, a barely radioactive isotope that doesn't emit enough radiation to harm a human. However, even slight beta-particle emissions are powerful enough to fuel the on board electronics of our arthropod cyborgs for up to 100 years.

For fun, let's see that cyborg moth flight test from September one more time, shall we?


Right now, the nuclear-powered electronics only include a 5-milliwatt RFID transmitter. But eventually, the cyborgs will carry a full suite of sensors, and hopefully, since we are talking about nuclear powered cyborg insects going to war, some kind of death ray.

[IEEE Spectrum]
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
54,145
Location
Eblana
For Scargie.

Cyborg snails power up
http://www.nature.com/news/cyborg-snail ... up-1.10210
Molluscs with implanted biofuel cells produce electricity from glucose.

Richard Van Noorden
12 March 2012

Snails have joined the growing ranks of animals whose own metabolism can be used to generate electricity.

The dozen or so brown garden snails crawling around the plastic, moss-filled terrarium in Evgeny Katz’s laboratory look normal, but they have a hidden superpower: they produce electricity.

Into each mollusc, Katz and his team at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, have implanted tiny biofuel cells that extract electrical power from the glucose and oxygen in the snail’s blood. Munching mainly on carrots, the cyborg snails live for around half a year and generate electricity whenever their implanted electrodes are hooked up to an external circuit. “The animals are quite fit — they eat, drink and crawl. We take care to keep them alive and happy,” Katz says.

Self-powered cyborgs

Snails are just one of several living creatures to have been ‘electrified’ like this. Katz’s research, reported last week in the Journal of the American Chemical Society1, comes hot on the heels of a January paper in the same journal from researchers led by Daniel Scherson at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, who have implanted biofuel cells into live cockroaches2. And in work yet to be published, Sameer Singhal, who directs a team working on biomedical and energy technology at CFD Research Corporation in Huntsville, Alabama, together with researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, reports implanting biofuel cells into beetles. The insects survived the process and generated power for more than two weeks, the scientists say.

All of these efforts are aimed at helping to create insect (or snail) cyborgs, a concept that has attracted funding from the US Department of Defense. For at least a decade, researchers have been creating battery-powered microcircuits with sensors and radio antennae and implanting them into various bugs and creepy-crawlies so that the creatures could gather information about their surroundings for environmental monitoring or military purposes3.

But batteries might be too bulky and short-lived to power prolonged missions — which is where the idea of tapping into the creatures’ own metabolism comes in. Katz has shown that in snails, biofuel cells could provide a steady dribble of power for months. “The truly impressive portion of [Katz’s] work is that the implantation provides such stable potential for such a long period of time,” says Shelley Minteer, who works on biofuel cells at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Small creatures, small power
Related stories
Electricity extracted from grape
A miniature biofuel cell operating in a physiological buffer
Evgeny Katz's website
More related stories

Although very large biofuel cells can power mobile phones and other devices, it’s doubtful that the tiny, few-centimetre-sized cells in living creatures could self-power complicated actions — such as, for example, remote-controlled flight — points out Plamen Atanassov, a fuel cell expert who directs the Center for Emerging Energy Technologies at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

In living creatures, the rate at which biofuel cells can extract energy — and, therefore, the amount of power they can provide — is limited by their electrodes’ size, and also by how quickly sugar and oxygen can be taken from the creatures' blood (or in the snails' case, not blood, but a related fluid known as haemolymph).

Katz’s snails, for example, produced up to 7.45 microwatts, but after 45 minutes, that power had decreased by 80%. To draw continuous power, Katz’s team had to ramp down the power they extracted to 0.16 microwatts.

Scherson says that he thinks he will be able to get a few hundred microwatts out of cockroaches (his biofuel cells feed on trehalose, a different sugar from glucose). Singhal reports similar results for beetles. Scherson, who is working with a large company to build microelectronics circuits for his cockroaches, points out that power need not be drawn continuously, but could be stored up in capacitors and released in pulses; he has already been able to produce and detect a radio signal from the cockroaches this way, he says.

Human implants?
Philippe Cinquin at the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, and his colleagues are taking biofuel cells in a different direction — implanting them into rats. Their work4, published in 2010, marked the first steps towards using biocompatible fuel cells in humans so that our own blood supply could run low-power medical devices such as pacemakers.

In these cases, the fuel cells must come with biocompatible membranes that ensure the implants aren’t rejected by the body, points out Cinquin. His team has already launched a company to develop artificial urinary sphincters, which require 300–500 microwatts of power and so could draw on glucose fuel from the body. Of course, batteries already exist for such applications — but smaller biofuel cells might, in theory, provide a more convenient, long-lasting way of powering such devices.

Adam Heller, a chemical engineer at the University of Texas at Austin, whose 2003 work kick-started much of the enthusiasm by showing how biofuel cells could generate power from a grape5, says that implantable biofuel cells might be useful for low-power, low-energy applications such as stimulating single nerves. But, he cautions, these applications may be a generation away.

Meanwhile, Katz says that he aims to move on to animals larger than snails, as their metabolism will provide more power. Next up for him: cyborg lobsters.

Nature doi:10.1038/nature.2012.10210

References

Halámková, L., Halámek, J., Bocharova, V., Szczupak, A., Alfonta, L., & Katz, E. J. Am. Chem. Soc. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja211714w (2012).

Rasmussen, M., Ritzmann, R. E., Lee, F., Pollack, A.J. & Scherson, D. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 1458–1460 (2012).

Sato, H., Cohen, D. & Maharbiz, M. M. in CMOS Biomicrosystems: Where Electrons Meet Biology (ed. K. Iniewski) http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9781118016497.ch12 (John Wiley and Sons, 2011).

Cinquin, P. et al. PLoS One 5, e10476 (2010).
ArticlePubMedChemPort

Mano, N., Mao, F. & Heller, A. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 125, 6588–6594 (2003).


Related stories and links

From nature.com

Electricity extracted from grape
12 May 2003

A miniature biofuel cell operating in a physiological buffer
12 November 2002

Evgeny Katz's website

Daniel Scherson's website

Edit to amend title.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
54,145
Location
Eblana
Vid at link.

Cockroach Sparks Ethics Debate
http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavi ... ics-debate
7 October 2013 12:45 pm
72 Comments

CYBORG COCKROACH SPARKS EDUCATION AND ETHICS DEBATE

If you are seeing a shark video above, please try viewing it in a different browser.


At the TEDx conference in Detroit last week, RoboRoach #12 scuttled across the exhibition floor, pursued not by an exterminator but by a gaggle of fascinated onlookers. Wearing a tiny backpack of microelectronics on its shell, the cockroach—a member of the Blaptica dubia species—zigzagged along the corridor in a twitchy fashion, its direction controlled by the brush of a finger against an iPhone touch screen (as seen in video above).

RoboRoach #12 and its brethren are billed as a do-it-yourself neuroscience experiment that allows students to create their own “cyborg” insects. The roach was the main feature of the TEDx talk by Greg Gage and Tim Marzullo, co-founders of an educational company called Backyard Brains. After a summer Kickstarter campaign raised enough money to let them hone their insect creation, the pair used the Detroit presentation to show it off and announce that starting in November, the company will, for $99, begin shipping live cockroaches across the nation, accompanied by a microelectronic hardware and surgical kits geared toward students as young as 10 years old.

That news, however, hasn’t been greeted warmly by everyone. Gage and Marzullo, both trained as neuroscientists and engineers, say that the purpose of the project is to spur a “neuro-revolution” by inspiring more kids to join the fields when they grow up, but some critics say the project is sending the wrong message. "They encourage amateurs to operate invasively on living organisms" and "encourage thinking of complex living organisms as mere machines or tools," says Michael Allen Fox, a professor of philosophy at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada.

“It’s kind of weird to control via your smartphone a living organism,” says William Newman, a presenter at TEDx and managing principal at the Newport Consulting Group, who got to play with a RoboRoach at the conference. At the same time, he says, he is pleased that the project will teach students about the neuroscience behind brain stimulation treatments that are being used to treat two of his friends with Parkinson’s disease.

The roaches’ movements to the right or left are controlled by electrodes that feed into their antennae and receive signals by remote control—via the Bluetooth signals emitted by smartphones. To attach the device to the insect, students are instructed to douse the insect in ice water to “anesthetize” it, sand a patch of shell on its head so that the superglue and electrodes will stick, and then insert a groundwire into the insect’s thorax. Next, they must carefully trim the insect’s antennae, and insert silver electrodes into them. Ultimately, these wires receive electrical impulses from a circuit affixed to the insect’s back.

Gage says the roaches feel little pain from the stimulation, to which they quickly adapt. But the notion that the insects aren’t seriously harmed by having body parts cut off is “disingenuous,” says animal behavior scientist Jonathan Balcombe of the Humane Society University in Washington, D.C. “If it was discovered that a teacher was having students use magnifying glasses to burn ants and then look at their tissue, how would people react?”

Gage says that in his experience, working carefully and closely with insects and other animals in experiments can sensitize students to the fact that roaches “are actually similar to us and have the same neurons that we have.” He also notes that the company doesn’t kill their own roaches after the experiments, but sends them to a “retirement” tank that the team calls Shady Acres. Although they may be missing legs or antennae, the insects tend to get on with their lives after the experiments, he says. “They do what they like to do: make babies, eat, and poop.”

“I try not to downplay the fact that in science we use animal models and a lot of times they are killed,” Gage says. “As scientists, we do this all the time, but it happens behind closed doors.” By following the surgical instructions, he says, all students learn that they have to care for the roaches—treating wounds by “putting a little Vaseline” on them, and minimizing suffering whenever possible. Still, Gage acknowledges, “we get a lot of e-mails telling us we’re teaching kids to be psychopaths.”

The RoboRoach “gives you a way of playing with living things,” like a short-lived version of the forbidden “Imperius Curse” in the Harry Potter novels, says bioethicist Gregory Kaebnick of the Hastings Center in Garrison, New York. He finds the product “unpleasant,” but adds that he won’t be calling for a boycott, either. “I’ll just be happy that I found a cleverly marketed consumer item that I am very happy not to own.”
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
47,851
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
Wait. Didn't I see this in 'The Fifth Element'?
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
54,145
Location
Eblana
More on those roachs. Images at link.

Row over US mobile phone 'cockroach backpack' app
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24455141

A cockroach wearing the 'electronic backpack'

Critics say that the 'electronic backpack' is prurient and inhumane

A US company that has developed an "electronic backpack" that fits onto a cockroach allowing its movements to be controlled by a mobile phone app has defended itself against cruelty claims.

The Backyard Brains company says that the device is intended to get children to be interested in neuroscience.

A spokeswoman told the BBC that the device - being formally launched on Saturday - was not a gimmick.

But critics say that the company's stance is "disingenuous".

For the "electronic backpack" to work the cockroaches have to be placed in icy water to subdue them before sandpaper is used to remove the waxy coating on the shell of the insect's head.

Continue reading the main story
Cockroach facts

Cockroach on a fork (c) SPL
There are about 4,600 species of cockroach and fewer than 30 of these are considered pests. (There are about 5,400 species of mammals)
The world's smallest cockroach is only 0.3mm long and lives in ant nests
The heaviest cockroach is the huge Australian Rhinoceros Cockroach at 8cm in length
Source: Natural History Museum

An electrode connector and electrodes are then glued on to the insect's body and a needle is used to poke a hole in their thorax in order to insert a wire.

Their antennae are then cut and electrodes are inserted. A circuit is attached to their backs, and signals are received through a mobile phone app allowing users to control the cockroaches' movements to the left and to the right.

Animal behaviour scientist Jonathan Balcombe has been quoted on US scientific websites as saying that the insects are harmed in the process.

"If it was discovered that a teacher was having students use magnifying glasses to burn ants and then look at their tissue, how would people react?" he is quoted as saying.

Likewise Queen's University philosophy Professor Michael Allen warned that the device will "encourage amateurs to operate invasively on living organisms" and "encourage thinking of complex living organisms as mere machines or tools".

The Michigan-based company has even received emails saying the the backpack - known as Roboroach - "teaches kids to be psychopaths".

The mobile phone app that controls the cockroach
Roboroach works by controlling the movements of the cockroach through electrodes that connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth.
Cockroach wearing the 'electronic backpack'
Critics say that the "electronic backpack" is cruel and subjects the insects to unnecessary stress.
Cockroach wearing the 'electronic backpack'
To attach the backpack, the insect is immersed into ice water to subdue it. Electrodes are stuck to it using glue and groundwire is inserted into the thorax.
The backpack as seen alongside a US coin
The Roboroach weighs 4.5g and is compatible with most mobile phones. It overrides the insect's antennae making it turn left and right at the flick of a switch.
But Backyard Brains says that 20% of the world will soon have a neurological disorder - for which there are no known cures - and the backpacks "allow students to do graduate level research early in life".

A company spokeswoman told the BBC that the backpack had been developed solely to encourage children to take an interest in neuroscience which, she said, needed to be better taught in American schools.

"At the moment this crucially important subject is woefully under-taught," she said, "with many schools teaching neuroscience within the biology syllabus when it should be a subject in its own right.

"That is especially the case when diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer's take a heavier toll within society."

The spokeswoman insisted that the insects are treated humanely and that the backpack - first developed in 2011 - does not harm them.

The backpack will be widely available in November in the US priced at $99 (£61).
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
54,145
Location
Eblana
In the aftermath of a natural disaster, every moment matters. First responders often have mere minutes to find survivors buried under collapsed buildings or trapped in earthquake rubble. So Alper Bozkurt, a bioelectrical engineer at North Carolina State University, is recruiting emergency personnel from a speedy but unlikely community: cockroaches.

To build his “cyber cockroaches,” Bozkurt straps tiny backpacks containing microchips onto the insects. As he explains in this episode of Cyborg Nation, after an earthquake, the scientists behind the CyberRoach project can use remote controls to move the bugs in different directions, exploring the nooks and crannies underneath rubble to locate survivors and broadcast their coordinates back to a human rescue team.

CyberRoach is just the start of training insects to bring us information from the spaces humans cannot go; DARPA has started funding research for using beetles as surveillance drones. Interested in training your own roach to spy on your neighbor’s whereabouts? For your next DIY project, buy a CyberRoach kit—no insect included. (For a volunteer subject, try looking under your fridge. On second thought, don’t.)

http://www.wired.com/2015/11/roaches-rescue-survivors/?mbid=social_twitter

Vid at link.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
54,145
Location
Eblana
A small team of researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore has taken the idea of controlling live insects using electronics a step further—by controlling its gait. In their paper published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the team describes how they created their 'cyborg' beetles, why they did so, and where they see the technology going in the future.


Over the past several years, scientists have found that they can control the movement of various insects by implanting electrodes that stimulate leg muscles in a prescribed fashion. Up till now engineers have created cyborg bugs that can be made to fly, scuttle and crawl in directions given via a computer. Now, the researchers with this new effort have announced that they have moved such research to the next level by creating cyborg Mecynorrhina torquate beetles that can have their speed, step length and walking gait controlled by computer.

To create the cyborg beetles, the researchers first soaked them in alcohol for 12 hours; they then cut them open to insert probes that allowed for recording the electrical signals that were generated naturally as the beetle moved around. Next, the team inserted electrodes capable of faithfully reproducing the insect's own impulses. The bugs were then controlled via a computer that sent signals to the electrodes. The team reports that they were able to cause the beetle to walk in whatever direction they chose adjusting for speed, step length and gait. ...

http://techxplore.com/news/2016-03-cyborg-beetles-gait.html
 

Swifty

doesn't negotiate with terriers
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
32,393
Not about cyborg insects but I wasn't sure exactly where to post this .. a great new way of taking pictures of insects

 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
28,325
Location
Out of Bounds
Move over, canines ... The latest animal allies in sniffing out explosives are ... ... ... locusts.
One step closer to bomb-sniffing cyborg locusts

Study found locusts can quickly discriminate between different explosives' smells

If you want to enhance a locust to be used as a bomb-sniffing bug, there are a few technical challenges that need solving before sending it into the field.

Is there some way to direct the locust -- to tell it where to go to do its sniffing? And because the locusts can't speak (yet), is there a way to read the brain of these cyborg bugs to know what they're smelling?

For that matter, can locusts even smell explosives?

Yes and yes to the first two questions. Previous research from Washington University in St. Louis has demonstrated both the ability to control the locusts and the ability to read their brains, so to speak, to discern what it is they are smelling. And now, thanks to new research from the McKelvey School of Engineering, the third question has been settled.

The answer, again: 'yes.'

In a pre-proof published online Aug. 6 in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics: X, researchers showed how they were able to hijack a locust's olfactory system to both detect and discriminate between different explosive scents -- all within a few hundred milliseconds of exposure.

They were also able to optimize a previously developed biorobotic sensing system that could detect the locusts' firing neurons and convey that information in a way that told researchers about the smells the locusts were sensing. ...

FULL STORY:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200814142934.htm

PUBLISHED REPORT (In Pre-Proof Status):
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2590137020300169?via=ihub
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
54,145
Location
Eblana
Now the cyber locusts sniff out cancer.

In a recent draft study from the journal of Biology titled "Harnessing insect olfactory neural circuits for noninvasive detection of human cancer," a team of scientists describe how they figured out how to hack the brains of locusts and train them to sniff out cancer in human beings.

As Technology Review explained:

The researchers chose to work with locusts because these insects have been well studied in recent years. In a preliminary setup, they surgically exposed the brain of a living locust. Saha and his colleagues then inserted electrodes into lobes of the brain that receive signals from the insects' antennae, which they use to sense odors.
The team also grew three different types of human oral cancer cells, as well as human mouth cells that were cancer-free. They used a device to capture gas emitted by each of the cell types, and delivered each of these to the locusts' antennae.
The locusts' brains responded to each of the cell types differently. The patterns of electrical activity recorded were so distinct that when the team puffed the gas from one cell type onto the antennae, they could correctly identify whether the cells were cancerous from the recording alone.
It is the first time a living insect brain has been tested as a tool to detect cancer, says Saha.
As much as this sounds like a horror sci-fi film waiting to happen … it's also kinda cool and exciting.

https://boingboing.net/2022/06/22/scientists-create-a-plague-of-cancer-sniffing-cyber-locusts.html
 

Ronnie Jersey

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
1,851
Now the cyber locusts sniff out cancer.

In a recent draft study from the journal of Biology titled "Harnessing insect olfactory neural circuits for noninvasive detection of human cancer," a team of scientists describe how they figured out how to hack the brains of locusts and train them to sniff out cancer in human beings.

As Technology Review explained:


As much as this sounds like a horror sci-fi film waiting to happen … it's also kinda cool and exciting.

https://boingboing.net/2022/06/22/scientists-create-a-plague-of-cancer-sniffing-cyber-locusts.html
You are so busy, that following you is a full time job! :)
 
Top