Cyborg beetles will save lives

28.12.2011

Currently, the search works in rescue operations are widely used robots and sniffer dogs, but U.S. scientists have decided that cyborgs, that is, beings with integrated electronics in the body will cope better.


Especially if they are so small in size that they can sneak into places where it is not able to climb a bulky robot. Engineers Institute of Michigan plan that flying insects, equipped with tiny cameras and microphones in the next year will begin to search for people buried under the rubble.

A team of scientists led by Professor Khalil Najafi for many years worked to create cyborg beetle. Scientists have managed to ensure that the insect could itself produce electricity. It is necessary to supply the equipment, which drags on the beetle itself. The energy produced by his wings, with tiny generators converted into electricity. There is no need to put on the insect's back besides the camera and microphone, and even a battery that threatens to blow off steam at the most inopportune moment.

According to the idea of developers, miniature lifeguard can run in the ruins of buildings collapsed in the quake. Beetle will crawl among the debris, and the sensors will record the sounds and send a picture with the camera on the operator's screen search operation. So will be able to more quickly find the people who have remained under the ruins of buildings. In addition, the beetles can be used even in areas where human input ordered. For example, for the study of nuclear power plants after the accident.

"By receiving energy directly from the beetle, we were able to provide uninterrupted power supply for the camera, microphone, and a communication device, which is an insect, like a tiny backpack on his back. They can be lifesavers or scouts, getting into dangerous or enclosed area for the man," — explained Professor Najafi.

Earlier this year, Khalil Najafi and his colleague Ethem Aktakka developed a tiny piezoelectric generators that are placed on the back of chafers (Cotinis nitida) — our neighbor June bug. The generator has a spiral shape, the ends of which abut in the wings. When the insect moves them, the energy was processed into electricity. One spiral generator gave the order 18.5 — 22.5 microwatt. If you put a couple of these devices, you can increase performance up to 45 microwatts.

The same developers of the University of Michigan in 2009, made a startling discovery. They were able to control the flight of the living beetle, as if it was a radio-controlled model. The operator gave instructions that were broadcast on neyroimplantat and insect obediently follow them. Scientists hope that if you combine all of these developments, the output can be universal cyborg beetle, ready for any task — from search operations to espionage.

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