Scientists Aim To Create Robot-Insects

Posted By Ben Goulding, 15 July, 2009 | permalink

It may sound like science-fiction, but scientists aim to create robot-insects capable of carrying out very important tasks assigned by police or authorities.

Robot-Insects. Image: AFP

Imagine if a robot-moth could sniff out a distant drug stash or robot-bees could dodge through earthquake rubble to find survivors – well this is the vision of Japanese scientists.

Scientists will research the brains of insects and then rebuild and program them to carry out different tasks. Ryohei Kanzaki is a professor at Tokyo Univeristy’s Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology. Having become a pioneer in the field of insect-machine hybrids he believes that in the future we will see programmed insects.

“It will be possible to recreate an insect brain with electronic circuits in the future. This would lead to controlling a real brain by modifying its circuits,” he said.

Kanzaki’s team has already made some progress on this front.

It sounds scary to me…it’s like Frankenstein but with insects. Couldn’t this lead to bad guys using insects to carry out criminal acts and dare I say it, even terrorism? If insects can be used to find survivors in earthquakes then surely, if the technology gets into the wrong hands, there is potential for catastrophe.


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