Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have demonstrated the first wireless control of a beetle. The insect-robot revealed at the IEEE MEMS conference in Italy this month consists of an off-the-shelf microprocessor, a radio receiver, a battery attached to a custom-printed circuit board, and six electrodes implanted into the animals' optic lobes and flight muscles. The research, following in the footsteps of previous DARPA-funded projects demonstrating remote controlled rats, pigeons and sharks, marks an important milestone in miniaturizing surveillance systems.
The current system harnesses the highly evolved flight control of flying insects. Future versions aim at also taking advantage of the insect's visual system, and at exploiting the beetle's biological energy system as batteries.
For more information, also check out an upcoming webcast with Michel Maharbiz, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, UC Berkeley:
Webcast site: mms://media.citris.berkeley.edu/webcast
Time: February 25, 2009: 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: UC Davis, UC Merced, UC Santa Cruz
Questions: Can be sent via Yahoo IM to username: citrisevents.
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