Beyond Bizzare: Scientists Can Control Roaches

The Roachbot isn’t good enough for you, huh? You don’t want to control a robotic roach, you want the real deal, right? Weird enough, you aren’t alone. Researchers at the North Carolina State University have created a system that allows you to remote control a cockroach.

No, I’m not kidding. How does this work exactly? The idea is that a microcontroller, transmitter and receiver were created that attaches a control system to a roach’s antennae. This sensory organ is what lets a roach evade predators naturally, and hijacking this system allowed the team to move them by triggering their instinctive need to move to avoid trouble.

You might wonder how or why they’d do this? Partly to see if it could be done, I’d wager. What practical applications could this have? Beats me. Sure, roaches can make it through tight spaces and are very durable- largely radiation proof even. Hazard zone use could be an application, but couldn’t a roach-sized robot do the same thing?

Sometimes in Science, the reason we do it is simply because we can. What do you think of this strange project? Pretty cool, huh?

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