Remember the Cockroach scene from the movie The Fifth Element?
Well our very own NC State engineers have developed a technique that uses an electronic interface to remotely control, or steer, cockroaches. The work represents an important step toward developing remote-controlled animals that can investigate small and dangerous spaces, such as the rubble of a collapsed building.
The cockroaches are not the kitchen invaders some of us know all too well. His hissing cockroaches from Madagascar have to be big enough, 2 to 3 inches, to wear miniature backpacks. Tiny wires are inserted into the antenna of the insects and, with electrical stimulation coming from the cockroach backpack, The controller can guide the insect left or right along a desired path.