Military Developing Cyborg Bug Armies: Roaches, Beetles, Moths and More!

July 18, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Remote controlled cyborg insects are not just the stuff of science fiction. The Pentagon’s group of mad scientists at DARPA, has been busy transforming an idea originally discovered from the pages of a science fiction novel, into reality.

So far, the military researchers have achieved some success in converting live roaches, horned beetles and moths into cyborg military devices, with future research to focus on hopping and swimming insects.

The DARPA cyborg bug program is officially called, the Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems or HI-MEMS. Dr. Amit Lal, who initially was inspired by the 1990 science fiction novel “Sparrowhawk,” by Thomas A. Easton, heads the program. In the novel are descriptions of genetically engineered animals that are embedded with computer chips, which control the animal cyborgs.

The stated goal of the HI-MEMS program is “developing tightly coupled machine-insect interfaces by placing micro-mechanical systems inside the insects during the early stages of metamorphosis,” such as the caterpillar and the pupae stages.

Once the MEMS become successfully implanted inside a bug, DARPA’s goal is to control the movements of the bug using GPS systems or optical, ultrasonic signal based remote control.

DARPA has invested about $12 million into the cyborg bug research since it began in 2006.

Once the bugs are properly controlled with the MEMS implants, the military could outfit the bugs with cameras and microphones to use them as bug spies.



One Response to “Military Developing Cyborg Bug Armies: Roaches, Beetles, Moths and More!”

  1. Isidro Lorimer on July 19th, 2010 11:53 am

    One thing I recomend is that you empty your dishwasher frequently. Roaches are attracted to the left over food particles and damp area a dirty dishwasher provides.

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