Tuesday, September 04, 2012

#MEM: "CyberInsects Go Where Microbots Can't"

Cyber-insects have been researched by the Defense Department since the 1940s, but still have not made it out of the lab. North Carolina State University, on the other hand, has recently built a cyber-insect without Defense Department funding that appears to fulfill the dream, albeit the little critters still have not escaped the lab: R. Colin Johnson

Assembled system-on-chip based backpack with Flexible Flat Cable (FFC) connectors added for battery and probe connections. The system is implanted on a cockroach.

Here is what North Carolina State University says about its cyber-insectsw: The present day technology falls short in offering centimeter scale mobile robots that can function effectively under unknown and dynamic environmental conditions. Insects, on the other hand, exhibit an unmatched ability to navigate through a wide variety of environments and overcome perturbations by successfully maintaining control and stability. In this study, we use neural stimulation systems to wirelessly navigate cockroaches to follow lines to enable terrestrial insect biobots. We also propose a system-on-chip based ZigBee enabled wireless neurostimulation backpack system with on- board tissue-electrode bioelectrical coupling verification. Such a capability ensures an electrochemically safe stimulation and avoids irreversible damage to the interface which is often misinterpreted as habituation of the insect to the applied stimulation...
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