Insects Harnessed for Surveillance

March 18, 2015 2:34 AM

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Insects Harnessed for Surveillance

PORTLAND, Ore.--U.S. and Singapore researchers have collaborated to control wirelessly the flight of the giant flower beetle (which is even bigger than a moth) using a tiny backpack that stimulates its muscles to control flight. Their stated purpose if to search for survivors after a natural disaster, similar to the Defense Advanced Research Agency's (DARPA's) Robotics Challenge, but there will be plenty of other uses for robots and remote-controlled insects by the military as well.

"The notion of using swarms of small insects in disaster relief situations [for example, insects equipped with a simple temperature sensors crawling and flying through rubble] has always been very compelling to me," said head of the U.S. side of the project, Michel Maharbiz, an associate professor i...

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