Monday, July 13, 2009

It's cyborg cricket to the rescue!

Shaun Saunders finds a very interesting article in NewScientist. There is little doubt that robotics will play a major role in and on the battlefield of tomorrow. To some extent, this tech will trickle down to the private sector.

Now when most people think of battle field robots, they envision hulking monstrosities with awesome fire power. But one device could be a life saver on and off the battlefield and its hardly larger than a cricket.

The Pentagon is funding research on robots that give early warning of chemical attacks on the battlefield. Researchers say the technology could be put to good use in civilian life, locating disaster victims or finding gas leaks etc.

The newest effort is a step beyond robotics and well into cybernetics. Researchers have embedded electrodes in insect's muscles to get them to fly in unnatural fashions, but now the Pentagon plans to create living communication networks by implanting a package of electronics in crickets, cicadas or katydids and have their "calls" triggered by chemicals instead of a mate.

From the article:
  • The Pentagon's priority is for the insects to detect chemical and biological agents on the battlefield, but Epstein says they could be modified to respond to the scent of humans and thus be used to find survivors of earthquakes and other disasters.
read complete article in NewScientist


revzef said...

Has anyone noticed that, as a species, we are behaving toward another species EXACTLY like the Borg?

Beam Me Up said...

Resistance is futile
we are the blog

ok, all kidding aside, revzef you make a very scary point! we ARE the borg...

revzef said...

He he, the blog is indeed powerful!

This development may change the entire face of science fiction. A new line in the sand of good and evil.

What would Picard say? What would Q say? What would the crickets and the cicadas say?

Interesting that so many of our gadgets already have the voices of insects.

Beam Me Up said...

You got to think "what would Science Fiction say?" all the while I was reading your post I am its not the sheep it will be the insects who look up.....