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Video about cyborg cockroaches and how they can help save human lives trapped under the rubble
Disasters such as earthquakes and building collapses often leave survivors trapped under debris, unable to move on their own due to injury, or buried too deep to call for help. First responders risk their lives trying to find these people before they die from their injuries or suffocation.
Have you ever imagined that insects save human lives?
You heard right.
Japanese scientists are working on a “cyborg cockroach,” or remote-controlled insect that carries a small backpack of solar cells and electronic hardware.
This setup allowed the cockroaches to explore dangerous ruins and listen to commands from remote controls to find survivors trapped under rock.
To make this idea a reality, Kenjiro Fukuda and his team at Japan’s Riken Research Institute, located near Tokyo, developed a 4-micron-wide sheet of solar cells.
In other words, a strand of your hair is about 25 times stronger than this ultra-thin film that is attached to the cockroach.
As the insect moves, solar cells on its body power the signals sent by its controller, guiding the cockroach to move in the desired direction.
The Madagascar hissing cockroach was chosen for this purpose. Unlike the cockroaches we see in homes, the Madagascar hissing cockroach is large, wingless and can roll over after falling on its back – even while wearing a cyborg suit.
The backpack can also be removed from the insect, so the cockroach is not a cyborg in the true sense of the word.