Cyborg cockroach: they create a system to control insects from a distance

Researchers have developed a system for creating remote-controlled cyborg cockroaches, equipped with a small wireless control module that is powered by a rechargeable battery connected to a solar cell.

Despite the mechanical devices, ultra-thin electronics and flexible materials allow the insects to move freely.

The international team led by researchers from the Japan-based RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research (CPR) is responsible for these achievements, which were published in the scientific journal Flexible Electronics on September 5 and will help make the use of cyborg insects be a practical reality.

Researchers are seeking to engineer cyborg insects (part insects, part machines) to help survey dangerous areas or monitor the environment.

However, for this to be practical the handlers must be able to control them remotely, including managing their legs.

The researchers created a special backpack, with modules of ultra-thin organic solar cells and an adhesion system that holds the machinery together for long periods of time and also allows for natural movements.

The team experimented with Madagascar cockroaches, which are about 6 centimeters long.

Ultrathin organic solar cells (0.004 mm thick) were attached to one side.

The ultra-thin, flexible organic solar cell, and how it was attached to the insect, was necessary to ensure freedom of movement, so testing the same equipment on other similar insects is under consideration.

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