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Cyborg Cockroaches to help in urban search-rescue missions


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Cyborg

Mains level : Not Much


Japanese scientists have devised a system that can create cyborg cockroaches that are part insect and part machine.

Cyborg cockroaches

  • Cyborg cockroaches’ movements are controlled by tiny integrated circuits.
  • They will be able to conduct surveillance in procedures like urban search and rescue, environmental monitoring and inspection of areas dangerous to humans.
  • By equipping the cockroaches with small wireless control modules, handlers will be able to control the insect’s legs remotely for long periods of time.
  • The team used Madagascar cockroaches, which are not only the largest species of cockroaches, reaching an estimated 6 cm, but are also known for making hissing sounds when disturbed, which they make by expelling air from the openings on their back.

How is it powered?

  • The researchers also designed the system to be rechargeable, by powering it with a super thin 0.004 mm solar cell module that is installed on the dorsal side of the cockroach’s abdomen.
  • This was done to ensure that the battery remains charged and the cockroach can be controlled for long periods of time, while simultaneously ensuring that the movement remains unhindered.


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