Friday, January 30, 2009

US University Shows Radio-controlled Live Beetle

The University of California, Berkeley succeeded in the experiment of controlling a live rhinoceros beetle by radio and disclosed the video of the experiment at the MEMS 2009 academic conference taking place in Sorrento, Italy.

Researchers at the university controlled the movement of beetle wings and some other parts using radio signals sent to the six electrodes on its brain and muscles. They equipped the beetle with a module incorporating a circuit to send signals to the electrodes, wireless circuit, microcontroller and battery. The university has so far succeeded in several experiments of electrically controlling insects, but it used a radio control system this time.

The researchers used rhinoceros beetles in this experiment because they can carry a weight of up to 3g. They can fly carrying the module weighing about 1.3g on their backs. And another reason is that they look cool, according to the university.
Finally, a cool looking cyborg insect.
For that use, the university is planning to mount sensors including a camera on a beetle in the future. With the sensors, rhinoceros beetles will be able to work as surveillance robots in place of humans. As they can carry a weight of 3g, 1.7g of sensors, in addition to the 1.3g of the current module, can be mounted.
Putting the bug back in being bugged.

via Tech On via Engadget

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