Slashdot reports on the Cockroach-Controlled Robot:
The latest issue of Make Magazine volume 2 from O'Reilly publishing has an article on a cockroach controlled robot. Roboticist Garnet Hertz has mounted a Giant Madagascan Hissing Cockroach that drives a small mobile robot around by walking on top of a Kensington trackball. There is a row of proximity sensor triggered LEDs that shine light in the roach's eyes, making him steer the robot since roaches instinctively avoid light. Garnet's web page 'Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine' details the project with several images of the roach in action. Debugging the project is inherently impossible.
Does this means that Miami will be come the world leader in robotics? We certainly have a very large supply of one of the raw materials.
This diddling with cockroaches has been going on for a long time. I think I saw an article in Technology Review about adding silcon to augment a cockroach. After 911 I thought that the military would go balls to the wall implimenting this tech to find OBL. No need for nano tech sensors just piggy back on what nature provides. No need for nano fuel cells. The damm thing just goes and finds its own food. It might like long naps that its users might not like but I guess that could be overcome. I also guess they would have to overcome its need to reproduce. Lots of interesting stuff coming down the pike. Some of it will scare the hell out of us.