After many attempts to create remote control cockroaches, researchers have finally succeeded, with a video to prove it!
By connecting an electronic backpack to the legs and antennae of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, researchers were able to control their movements and routes almost flawlessly. Cockroaches can go for great lengths of time without food so they are the perfect biological device. They are also dramatically cheaper than creating a mass of tiny robots.
Applications for these remote control buggers include search and rescue missions, navigating through tight spaces, detecting high radiation levels (cockroaches are highly resistant to radiation), and playing excellent pranks on unsuspecting victims.
Scientists are also developing remote controlled rats and moths. Not a single critter is to be trusted in this brave new world!
This TED talk features neuroscientist Greg Gage as he dissects a cockroach on stage and plays various sounds through its dissected leg to make it move to the beat. He demonstrates how electrical impulses are sent and received by the brain. A very interesting talk with an especially eye opening ending.
If you just can’t get enough of these types of shenanigans, check out this video of Cypress Hill’s “Insane in the Brain” being played through a squid’s fin. Squids can alter the pigment of their skin. Their cells (chromatophores) literally dance and change color in response to electrical stimulation.
How long before walls of chromatophores become the new fad in raves?