(Click photo to enlarge.)

MEMS Sensors Embedded in Beetles for Bio-Interfacing — Nikkei Electronics Asia — April 2008 – Tech-On — I looked all over to see if this was an April Fools gag. A couple of years ago I wrote an April Fools column myself that integrated a Beatle into the MPU. Ack.

Especially intriguing was a paper by the University of Michigan on the Cyborg Beetle (see Fig.), a beetle controlled like a radio-controlled airplane by implanting an integrated circuit (IC), antenna and other components in it. There were other papers dealing with controlling beetle flight, but the University of Michigans paper surpassed the others in its level of completion.

The University of Michigan mounted a North American unicorn beetle with an IC, button battery and a flight direction indicator consisting of ten light emitting diodes (LED), and succeeded in controlling its flight with accuracy by external control.




  1. Gigwave says:

    OMG! They’ve turned George Harrison into a Cyborg?

  2. Eideard says:

    Sooner or later, we’ll end up with a cockroach who has their own blog.

    Other than Drudge, that is.

  3. roachcoach says:

    Wasn’t there something like this in the movie
    The Fifth Element?

  4. fahrquar says:

    Ringo would be the perfect size for this! I liked the spider bots in that Gene Simmons movie.

  5. BubbaRay says:

    #3, roachcoach, you are correct. As I recall, the bug was crawling on the President’s desk (spying) and was whacked, sending the bug’s controller into a fit.

    Once again, Sci-Fi becomes reality.

  6. brendal says:

    Nostradvorak strikes again!!

  7. john schneider says:

    So, this is the real deal though the research is in a much earlier stage. I saw this presented at Berkeley a couple weeks ago(http://www-bsac.eecs.berkeley.edu/project/zoom.php?urlmyprojectID=BPN451&URLnode=3)

    It’s really something to see. First they pop open a pupa and do microscopic brain surgery to the transforming beetle, then the put it back in and wait for the beetle to emerge naturaly. Then the controller and battery go on and you have a robot beetle. What they can control right now is starting and stopping of flight and they can control left/right directionality. THere’s no bluetooth remote or anything like that, they are still working on the power problem (battery doesn’t last that long.)


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