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A research project is utilizing cockroaches to assist first responders in emergency situations.
There are some words that come to mind when talking about cockroaches - disgusting, ugly, pests.
However the insects can actually be used to help the world, especially if paired with technology. The past few decades, roboticists have been working to perfect swarm technology.
One of the specific targets of the research is utilizing cockroaches to assist first responders in emergency situations. Some of the tasks the future cyborg roaches may deal with include surveying damage of natural disasters such as searching contaminated buildings after a chemical spill or earthquake.
Given the fact that roaches are instinctually explorers, it makes them perfect for the job. The assistant professor of electrical engineering at North Carolina State University stated “They have their own behavior, their own programming from nature. We’re exploiting that random movement to work in our favor.”
Basically, the scientists are working to create a type of high-tech backpack to place on a Madagascar hissing cockroach’s back. The packs will house small chemical and audio sensors, which will detect chemicals in the air and pick up sounds.
On top of the roach backpacks, last year, the team proved they could control movements of the insects as well.