Scientists in Japan have figured out how to attach little fuel cells to cockroaches and rig them so the insects can generate their own power.
Scientists in Japan have figured out how to attach little fuel cells to cockroaches and rig them so the insects can generate their own electricity for them.
The ultimate goal is to be able to someday use them to create a wireless network of sensors that can go where humans can’t and help assess the situation.
Areas in which they could be especially helpful are in monitoring radiation-heavy environments and other hard-to-reach - or withstand - places.
The technology to create controlled cockroaches for these tasks has already been invented, but the problem is that it requires batteries to work.
Batteries, as we all know, like to go dead at the worst times.
As the new cyborg roaches can make their own power, the battery problem isn’t an issue.
To figure out how to make it happen, the scientists affixed the cells to some of the biggest, baddest creepy crawlers of them all – Madagascar cockroaches.
Two sets of tubes are inserted into the insect. One pulls body fluid out, and the other puts it back in. On the way, it passes through the cell, which converts trehalose, the roach equivalent of blood sugar, into energy.
And there you have it – a self-powered roach rover.