Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley and Singapore's Nanyang University have managed to create a cyborg beetle by strapping on a high-tech backpack to its body that allowed them to remotely control its flight. The backpack is equipped with six electrodes that are wired to the beetles optic lobes and flight muscles. Incredibly, the backpack consists of little more than a commercially available microcontroller, a wireless transmitter/receiver and a micro lithium battery.
Studying insects in flight is difficult, but this sci-fi-like technology makes it easier than ever. Additionally, the cyborg beetle project can do more than expand the field of entomology or insect study. It could eventually be used to create cyborg animals capable of accessing hard-to-reach areas and assisting in search-and-rescue missions for example.
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