While it may sound like something that has crawled out of your nightmares, cyborg cockroaches have arrived as friends rather than foes.
Scientists in Japan have designed a new remote-controlled insect, equipped with a battery ‘backpack’ that is powered by solar panels.
The cockroach, which is part insect and part machine, is intended to enter hazardous areas, monitor the environment or undertake search and rescue missions without needing to be recharged.
The researchers from the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research had to install some components into a tiny pack to allow for all the roach’s natural movements.
Lead author Kenjiro Fukuda said: ‘The body-mounted ultrathin organic solar cell module achieves a power output of 17.2 mW, which is more than 50 times larger than the power output of current state-of-the art energy harvesting devices on living insects.’
Famously able to survive a nuclear war, cockroaches have been the inspiration for a number of …