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Radio Controlled Cyborg Insects At MEMS 2009

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the why-does-she-have-a-hammer? dept.

Robotics 46

Frankie Modellismo writes "During MEMS 2009, a Micro Electro Mechanical Systems conference taking place in Sorrento (near Naples in Italy), the University of California, Berkeley showed a wireless system to control a live rhinoceros beetle. The researchers controlled the movement of the beetle thanks to six electrodes installed in the insect's brain. The rhinoceros beetles can carry up to 3gr, and fly carrying the control module that weighs a little more than 1 gr." The page is in Italian, but the pictures speak for themselves.

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I for one... (2, Funny)

malkir (1031750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26645123)

I for one welcome our new wireless rhinoceros beetle overlords...

Re:I for one... (2, Insightful)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 5 years ago | (#26648563)

Hang about - wouldn't that be "our rhinoceros beetle's wireless overlords"?

Re:I for one... (1)

malkir (1031750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26650099)

Touche!

Call me stupid (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26645177)

By why isn't MEMS used to make better STMs and AFMs? .. which you could use to make even smaller machines .. which could be used to make even smaller machines .. until you get to this stuff [molecularassembler.com] .

It's like they're not even trying.

Re:Call me stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26645793)

No, the "I for one welcome our ______ overlords" guy above you isn't even trying.

Re:Call me stupid (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26653315)

If you don't understand the principles of construction, better tools aren't automatically going to lead to better construction (perhaps you mean that having better tools is a worthwhile motivation for better understanding of the principles, but then, maybe the problem is that it is 'hard').

engrish (4, Informative)

d3l33t (1106803) | more than 5 years ago | (#26645205)

Nikkei Microdevices has an interesting write up (in english) here: http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20090128/164717/ [nikkeibp.co.jp]

Better link (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26645223)

English version [nikkeibp.co.jp]

Ethics (1)

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26645233)

This can surely cause some ethical discussions. Next we try to poke into a mouse, cat, dog,... human. The real question we should be asking here whether this should be done all the way.

I can see the benefits of using external stimuli, but when does that go over to control. A grey area ahead...

Re:Ethics (3, Informative)

blue_goddess (1416183) | more than 5 years ago | (#26646255)

Next we try to poke into a mouse, cat, dog,...

Actually in 2002 humans were able to control rat by stimulating specific parts of its brain, similary to this bug. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guided_rat [wikipedia.org]

There is also a US patent on this: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5791294.html [freepatentsonline.com]

Re:Ethics (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26649465)

,a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk_7eTGF0N4">This has been done to a cat in the 1960s already.

Re:Ethics (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26649481)

Re:Ethics (1)

Bent Mind (853241) | more than 5 years ago | (#26650571)

While looking at the video you linked to, I came across this: Cyborg insects [youtube.com] . It is a video from NewScientist that shows wired moths. They also show a clip where they are studying the moth's vision for use in robotics.

Interesting stuff...

For two or 3 sxecs, i was imagining... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26645247)

cybersects... talk about boosting performance and output...

Beware of article link (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26645249)

If you click on the scantly clad female on the top of the page, you come across a gallery that starts with "Hentai Manga Girls". Good thing I'm not at work!

Re:Beware of article link (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26645381)

Too bad they're not radio controlled. Then you'd have something useful.

Re:Beware of article link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26646479)

Yeah, but remote controlled girls wouldn't be news.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fILH4qgkXk8 [youtube.com]

Re:Beware of article link (2, Funny)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26646833)

Now I gotta go back and look at that damn gallery, thanks a lot.

And yes, I AM at work :P

Re:Beware of article link (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 5 years ago | (#26648333)

I wish there was more text to go with that bikini girl, so I could understand why she's holding a hammer, while bending toward a vise...

Re:Beware of article link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26648503)

She has a hammer?

Next you will try to tell me that famous picture really DID have a duck in it.

Re:Beware of article link (1)

Keith_Beef (166050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26653693)

It's not a hammer, it's a mallet.

If it was a hammer, I'd expect to see something getting nailed.

But that's definitely a mallet, so maybe somethings just going to get whacked.

Re:Beware of article link (1)

module0000 (882745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26649435)

damnit i can't stop! there is a "page 2" link at the bottom, but no page 3 =( and it's all in italian, but goddamn!

What's a gr? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#26645337)

Did they mean a gram [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:What's a gr? (1)

djdbass (1037730) | more than 5 years ago | (#26645663)

Grain? [wikipedia.org]

Re:What's a gr? (1)

etinin (1144011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26646475)

Yes, as that is the standard unit for weight (at this scale, the s) in most parts of the world. Stupid imperial measurement system.

Did that 30 years ago ... (1)

jeepmeister (241971) | more than 5 years ago | (#26645341)

... by tying a string around the beetle I could make that thing go where ever I wanted.

Re:Did that 30 years ago ... (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#26645629)

But this is wireless! Its a totally new invention - the wireless string.
On a more serious note, How good is the flight control on this thing? Also, where can I get the schematics and a bunch of Rhinoceros Beatles?

Science Fiction calls it first! (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 5 years ago | (#26645387)

That is right out of The Fifth Element when someone is spying on the president using a remote-controlled live beetle.

Re:Science Fiction calls it first! (1)

Zashi (992673) | more than 5 years ago | (#26653301)

It was a cockroach...

girl in ad (1)

two basket skinner (1288246) | more than 5 years ago | (#26645433)

she doesn't need a reason to have a hammer. she can do what ever she wants and whatever they are selling will still sell. see? i bought five or six already

Just Pictures (3, Funny)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 5 years ago | (#26645631)

Yes the pictures do speak for themselves. But where are the details? I can tie an SBC to the back of my dog's head and then wrap some wire to it's nose also. That doesn't make it a remote controlled dog.

I want proof and a blueprint on how to do this to a beautiful woman, just saying.

Re:Just Pictures (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#26648713)

Yes the pictures do speak for themselves. But where are the details? I can tie an SBC to the back of my dog's head and then wrap some wire to it's nose also. That doesn't make it a remote controlled dog.

I want proof and a blueprint on how to do this to a beautiful woman, just saying.

No problem [burchardgalleries.com] .

Re:Just Pictures (1)

RockWolf (806901) | more than 5 years ago | (#26649187)

I can tie an SBC to the back of my dog's head and then wrap some wire to it's nose also. That doesn't make it a remote controlled dog.

No, that makes it a dog tied to a small-block chev.

While that might be fine for either a car geek or a redneck, I'm still wondering why you'd do it.

~/Rockwolf

Is this related to the other story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26646355)

How to track bug-trackers? Anyway, shouldn't this be called a MEBS, a micro-electro-biologic-system? It doesn't appear to have any mechanical components.

anyone heard of animal cruelty? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26647913)

No I'm not a secret PETA spy or anything, and I'm not a conservative type, just a somewhat normal ordinary IT person. Can't help but think that this is animal cruelty tho, even if it is just a beetle. Electrodes implanted in its head to make it fly wherever you want? Thats not interesting, its sick.

Re:anyone heard of animal cruelty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26650147)

PETA people are nuts. Some of them are vandals and murderers. However, I have to agree. I'm not sure this is a good idea.

Re:anyone heard of animal cruelty? (1)

Bent Mind (853241) | more than 5 years ago | (#26650623)

Electrodes implanted in its head to make it fly wherever you want? Thats not interesting, its sick.

Not any more than a bug zapper or pesticides.

As for interesting, I would find it very interesting to be able to decode information from the bug's vision sensors. It might help create working artificial eyes or robotic vision systems.

Now, if they decide to pack these in plastic and sell them at WallMart as toys, I might object.

why is this page tagged NSFW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26648337)

also: yeah fucking right! Radio-controlled live beatles? What is this, retro sci-fi? I'd better check my calendar, cuz' it must be the year 2000!

Apparently, they've got lots of control... (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26650439)

They implanted a module with six neural electrodes into the beetles when they were still in the pupae stage, and so the beetles mature, they have the electronics already embedded into their bodies. At that point, a battery pack and receiver are added, and by sending radio signals, the beetle can be made to take off, land, fly forwards and backwards, and steer left and right.

Source [botjunkie.com]

Alot of /. articles are so-so, some are amazing, and every once in a great while there's one that ... well, kinda scares the shit out of me.

This is one of those articles. Does this article kind of creep you out? ... Are you a little creeped out because you believe beetles may have some form of free will and even if it's "just a beetle" they shouldn't be flown about like some kind of "machine"? What if we managed to create a machine with the intelligence of a Beetle? Not at all an unreasonable prospect... What if instead of reading about a biological breakthrough, you were instead reading about that little thing flying about... if violating the physical, biological beetle's freewill is appalling, should it not be appalling to do the same to the (theoretical) machine we just created? What happens when this gets to human level intelligences?

Rudy Rucker [amazon.com] has a few interesting ideas of how this will all turn out, but in the end I believe most of those scenarios are a little too idealistic (but it's ok, because it's just (really good) sci-fi).

I really question if we're ready for this as a species.

Re:Apparently, they've got lots of control... (1)

Zashi (992673) | more than 5 years ago | (#26655207)

Beatles don't have a higher brain. They don't even have the ability to feel pain. There is no personality or emotions in these animals. They are (compared to more complex animals) simplistic, biological machines. They do not have rights, nor can they demand them. Quit anthropomorphizing. Do you feel bad about the billions upon billions of bacteria that have been experimented on, had their DNA manipulated, and their kin slaughtered?

Re:Apparently, they've got lots of control... (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656793)

You missed the point of my post entirely. I suggest you reread it.

Re:Apparently, they've got lots of control... (1)

tabrnaker (741668) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657633)

Umm, and why exactly should we take your word for that? I didn't know that the problem of personality or emotions had been solved already.

Wait, what are those things that unthinkingly regurgitate stuff they've been fed without thinking? Right, simplistic biological machines.

But the battery... (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26650929)

How long is its battery life? I understand that's a crippling factor in radio controlled bugs at the moment.

nsfw (1)

serodores (526546) | more than 5 years ago | (#26667523)

I'm not sure either. My only guess is the bikini laden ad on the right [hobbymedia.it] . But I wouldn't consider something like that nsfw. *shrug*
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