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Researchers: Cyborg Cockroaches Could Be Used To Find People After Natural Disasters

10:01 AM, Sep 13, 2013   |    comments
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Raleigh, NC-- Can you train a cockroach to be a first responder after a natural disaster? Researchers at NC State University are already working on that.

Doctor Alper Bozkurt has a soft spot for madagascar hissing cockroaches. He's an assistant professor in computer and electrical engineering at n-c state university, and he's working to turn these insects into cyborgs.

"We implant electrodes to their antennae and we send tiny pulses, very small pulses, to their antennae."

As it walks, the insect feels the pulses, believes they are obstacles and moves to avoid them. It took a few tries -- but bozkurt and his assistant found a cockroach that walked the line.

As the assistant moves a joystick, the roach responds -- moving around this u-shaped track. "Our ultimate goal is to use cockroaches in the rubble after natural disasters, like earthquakes, to find victims."

These remote-controlled cockroaches could find their way through cramped, dark spaces, carrying tiny microphones and listening for survivors.

Bozkurt and other scientists still have to work out the bugs, but these cockroaches could someday save your life.

cnn

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