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Robotics Technology

Radio Controlled Cyborg Insects At MEMS 2009 46

Posted by timothy
from the why-does-she-have-a-hammer? dept.
Frankie Modellismo writes "During MEMS 2009, a Micro Electro Mechanical Systems conference taking place in Sorrento (near Naples in Italy), the University of California, Berkeley showed a wireless system to control a live rhinoceros beetle. The researchers controlled the movement of the beetle thanks to six electrodes installed in the insect's brain. The rhinoceros beetles can carry up to 3gr, and fly carrying the control module that weighs a little more than 1 gr." The page is in Italian, but the pictures speak for themselves.
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Radio Controlled Cyborg Insects At MEMS 2009

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  • by malkir (1031750)
    I for one welcome our new wireless rhinoceros beetle overlords...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BluBrick (1924)
      Hang about - wouldn't that be "our rhinoceros beetle's wireless overlords"?
  • By why isn't MEMS used to make better STMs and AFMs? .. which you could use to make even smaller machines .. which could be used to make even smaller machines .. until you get to this stuff [molecularassembler.com].

    It's like they're not even trying.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by maxume (22995)

      If you don't understand the principles of construction, better tools aren't automatically going to lead to better construction (perhaps you mean that having better tools is a worthwhile motivation for better understanding of the principles, but then, maybe the problem is that it is 'hard').

  • engrish (Score:4, Informative)

    by d3l33t (1106803) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @05:46PM (#26645205)
    Nikkei Microdevices has an interesting write up (in english) here: http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20090128/164717/ [nikkeibp.co.jp]
  • Better link (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @05:47PM (#26645223)

    English version [nikkeibp.co.jp]

  • This can surely cause some ethical discussions. Next we try to poke into a mouse, cat, dog,... human. The real question we should be asking here whether this should be done all the way.

    I can see the benefits of using external stimuli, but when does that go over to control. A grey area ahead...

  • cybersects... talk about boosting performance and output...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @05:48PM (#26645249)
    If you click on the scantly clad female on the top of the page, you come across a gallery that starts with "Hentai Manga Girls". Good thing I'm not at work!
  • Did they mean a gram [wikipedia.org]?

  • ... by tying a string around the beetle I could make that thing go where ever I wanted.

    • by Gat0r30y (957941)
      But this is wireless! Its a totally new invention - the wireless string.
      On a more serious note, How good is the flight control on this thing? Also, where can I get the schematics and a bunch of Rhinoceros Beatles?
  • That is right out of The Fifth Element when someone is spying on the president using a remote-controlled live beetle.

  • she doesn't need a reason to have a hammer. she can do what ever she wants and whatever they are selling will still sell. see? i bought five or six already
  • by e2d2 (115622) on Wednesday January 28, 2009 @06:13PM (#26645631)

    Yes the pictures do speak for themselves. But where are the details? I can tie an SBC to the back of my dog's head and then wrap some wire to it's nose also. That doesn't make it a remote controlled dog.

    I want proof and a blueprint on how to do this to a beautiful woman, just saying.

    • Yes the pictures do speak for themselves. But where are the details? I can tie an SBC to the back of my dog's head and then wrap some wire to it's nose also. That doesn't make it a remote controlled dog.

      I want proof and a blueprint on how to do this to a beautiful woman, just saying.

      No problem [burchardgalleries.com].

    • by RockWolf (806901)

      I can tie an SBC to the back of my dog's head and then wrap some wire to it's nose also. That doesn't make it a remote controlled dog.

      No, that makes it a dog tied to a small-block chev.

      While that might be fine for either a car geek or a redneck, I'm still wondering why you'd do it.

      ~/Rockwolf

  • by Anonymous Coward

    No I'm not a secret PETA spy or anything, and I'm not a conservative type, just a somewhat normal ordinary IT person. Can't help but think that this is animal cruelty tho, even if it is just a beetle. Electrodes implanted in its head to make it fly wherever you want? Thats not interesting, its sick.

    • by Bent Mind (853241)

      Electrodes implanted in its head to make it fly wherever you want? Thats not interesting, its sick.

      Not any more than a bug zapper or pesticides.

      As for interesting, I would find it very interesting to be able to decode information from the bug's vision sensors. It might help create working artificial eyes or robotic vision systems.

      Now, if they decide to pack these in plastic and sell them at WallMart as toys, I might object.

  • They implanted a module with six neural electrodes into the beetles when they were still in the pupae stage, and so the beetles mature, they have the electronics already embedded into their bodies. At that point, a battery pack and receiver are added, and by sending radio signals, the beetle can be made to take off, land, fly forwards and backwards, and steer left and right.

    Source [botjunkie.com]

    Alot of /. articles are so-so, some are amazing, and every once in a great while there's one that ... well, kinda scares the shit out of me.

    This is one of those articles. Does this article kind of creep you out? ... Are you a little creeped out because you believe beetles may have some form of free will and even if it's "just a beetle" they shouldn't be flown about like some kind of "machine"? What if we managed to create a machine with the intelligence of a Beetle? Not at all an unreasonab

    • by Zashi (992673)

      Beatles don't have a higher brain. They don't even have the ability to feel pain. There is no personality or emotions in these animals. They are (compared to more complex animals) simplistic, biological machines. They do not have rights, nor can they demand them. Quit anthropomorphizing. Do you feel bad about the billions upon billions of bacteria that have been experimented on, had their DNA manipulated, and their kin slaughtered?

      • You missed the point of my post entirely. I suggest you reread it.
      • by tabrnaker (741668)
        Umm, and why exactly should we take your word for that? I didn't know that the problem of personality or emotions had been solved already.

        Wait, what are those things that unthinkingly regurgitate stuff they've been fed without thinking? Right, simplistic biological machines.

  • How long is its battery life? I understand that's a crippling factor in radio controlled bugs at the moment.
  • I'm not sure either. My only guess is the bikini laden ad on the right [hobbymedia.it]. But I wouldn't consider something like that nsfw. *shrug*

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