Bug Blog

Researchers Are Now Perfecting The Insect Cyborg

Researchers Are Now Perfecting The Insect Cyborg If you were to ever find yourself trapped in a collapsed building as result of a natural disaster, then I am sure the last thing you would want to see is a huge cockroach crawling towards you. But what if that roach is your only chance of escaping the building wreckage alive?

North Carolina State University researchers want to use roaches to access areas that are inaccessible to humans when it comes to search and rescue operations. But why a roach and not some other less disgusting bug? Well according to one of the lead researchers, roaches are preferable because roaches are not only small and durable, but they are also quite agile. Roaches can move faster than most bugs and a roach’s hard exterior will protect it from falls.

The roaches are outfitted with electronic backpacks that allow researchers to guide the roaches in whatever direction they want. However, perhaps the most important aspect of this research involves accurately mapping out the interiors of building wreckage. For this grand task, hundreds of remote roaches would have to be dispatched to the ruins of various buildings. By creating a map of the interior of compromised structures, search and rescue teams could have a better idea of how to stay safe and where to go in order to access survivors of natural disasters.

Do you think it is possible for some people waiting to be saved from building wreckage to squash the roaches upon seeing them, since they may not know that the roaches are meant to help?