Researchers turn giant cockroaches into creepy cyborg slaves

Cockroaches are incredibly creepy at the best of times, but what if you could control their movements? A team from the IBionicS laboratory at North Carolina State University have done just that, mounting control circuitry on some giant cockroaches and making them do their bidding.

The scientists mounted a wireless control circuit on the back of a Madagascar Hissing cockroach, then attached wires that feed low level electrical impulses into the roach's antennae. This makes the roach think that it's met an obstacle, causing it to steer in the opposite direction.

In the video you can see how they were able to make the critter follow a line on floor, using a remote control to steer the bug just as if it was some gross kind of RC car.

Ultimately the researchers believe that the cyborg bugs can be used in search and rescue operations to locate buried people. After all, what kind of creature is better at burrowing into dark hidden spaces and surviving a catastrophe than a cockroach? Of course, the buried people would also have to survive the added shock shock of a giant cyborg cockroach sidling up to them in the rubble.

NC State Abstract, via iBionicS, via Gizmodo

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