Equipped with an electronic bag Watch the Japanese "cyborg" cockroach moving by human orders

Equipped with an electronic bag Watch the Japanese "cyborg" cockroach moving by human orders  If an earthquake strikes in the not-too-distant future and survivors are trapped under tons of rubble, the first responders to locate them could be swarms of Japanese cyborg cockroach, according to a Reuters report .  A cyborg is defined as an organism that consists of a mixture of organic and electronic components.  This experiment by Japanese researchers is an introduction to the use of these organisms in several potential applications. This experiment demonstrated the ability to install "backpacks" of solar cells and electronics on insects and control their movement via a remote control.  Kenjiro Fukuda and his team in the Thin Device Laboratory of Japanese research giant Riken have developed a flexible film for solar cells that is 4 microns thick, about 1/25 wide by a human hair, and can fit on an insect's back.  The film allows the cockroach to move freely while the solar cell generates enough energy to process and send directional signals to the sensory organs at the insect's rear.  The work builds on previous pest control experiments at Nanyang Technological University (Nanyang) in Singapore that could one day result in cyborgs that can enter dangerous areas more efficiently than robots.  "The batteries inside the small robots run out quickly, so the exploration and rescue time becomes shorter," Fukuda said. "The main advantage (of the cyborg) is that it moves by itself, so no electricity is required for this process."  Fukuda and his team chose Madagascar crickets for the experiments because they are large enough to carry equipment and have no wings to get in their way. Even when the backpack and film are attached to its back, it can traverse small obstacles or correct its position when it flips over.  The search still has a long way to go. In a recent demonstration, researcher Yujiro Kaki of the Riken Institute used a specialized computer and a wireless Bluetooth signal to tell the cyborg cockroach to turn left, causing it to lunge in that direction. But when he was given the right turn command, something went wrong which caused the cockroach to move in circles.  The next challenge is to make the components smaller so that insects can move around more easily and to allow the installation of sensors and even cameras.  Kiki said he made the cyborg backpack by assembling pieces worth 5,000 yen ($35).  The backpack and film can be removed, allowing the cockroaches to come back to life in the lab tank. These insects mature within 4 months and live up to 5 years.  Beyond disaster rescue insects, Fukuda sees wide applications for solar cell film, which is made up of microscopic layers of plastic, silver and gold. The film can be embedded into clothing or leather patches for use in monitoring vital signs of the human body.

If an earthquake strikes in the not-too-distant future and survivors are trapped under tons of rubble, the first responders to locate them could be swarms of Japanese cyborg cockroach, according to a Reuters report .

A cyborg is defined as an organism that consists of a mixture of organic and electronic components.

This experiment by Japanese researchers is an introduction to the use of these organisms in several potential applications. This experiment demonstrated the ability to install "backpacks" of solar cells and electronics on insects and control their movement via a remote control.

Kenjiro Fukuda and his team in the Thin Device Laboratory of Japanese research giant Riken have developed a flexible film for solar cells that is 4 microns thick, about 1/25 wide by a human hair, and can fit on an insect's back.

The film allows the cockroach to move freely while the solar cell generates enough energy to process and send directional signals to the sensory organs at the insect's rear.

The work builds on previous pest control experiments at Nanyang Technological University (Nanyang) in Singapore that could one day result in cyborgs that can enter dangerous areas more efficiently than robots.

"The batteries inside the small robots run out quickly, so the exploration and rescue time becomes shorter," Fukuda said. "The main advantage (of the cyborg) is that it moves by itself, so no electricity is required for this process."

Fukuda and his team chose Madagascar crickets for the experiments because they are large enough to carry equipment and have no wings to get in their way. Even when the backpack and film are attached to its back, it can traverse small obstacles or correct its position when it flips over.

The search still has a long way to go. In a recent demonstration, researcher Yujiro Kaki of the Riken Institute used a specialized computer and a wireless Bluetooth signal to tell the cyborg cockroach to turn left, causing it to lunge in that direction. But when he was given the right turn command, something went wrong which caused the cockroach to move in circles.

The next challenge is to make the components smaller so that insects can move around more easily and to allow the installation of sensors and even cameras.

Kiki said he made the cyborg backpack by assembling pieces worth 5,000 yen ($35).

The backpack and film can be removed, allowing the cockroaches to come back to life in the lab tank. These insects mature within 4 months and live up to 5 years.

Beyond disaster rescue insects, Fukuda sees wide applications for solar cell film, which is made up of microscopic layers of plastic, silver and gold. The film can be embedded into clothing or leather patches for use in monitoring vital signs of the human body.
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