February 3, 2009

Remote Controlled beetle

Scientists at the University of California developed a tiny rig that receives control signals from a nearby computer. Electrical signals delivered via the electrodes command a Giant flower beetle with implanted electrodes and a radio receiver on its back to take off, turn left or right, etc. The research is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This could be used for surveillance purposes or for search-and-rescue missions,etc.

The beetle's payload consists of an off-the-shelf microprocessor, a radio receiver, and a battery attached to a custom-printed circuit board, along with six electrodes implanted into the animals' optic lobes and flight muscles. Flight commands are wirelessly sent to the beetle via a radio-frequency transmitter that's controlled by a nearby laptop. Oscillating electrical pulses delivered to the beetle's optic lobes trigger takeoff, while a single short pulse ceases flight. Signals sent to the left or right basilar flight muscles make the animal turn right or left, respectively.

NB : News Courtesy Technology Review Magazne

No comments: