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    Thread: If they can do this to a beetle.....

    1. #1
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      If they can do this to a beetle.....

      Technology Review: Videos

      The Army's Remote-Controlled Beetle

      The insect's flight path can be wirelessly controlled via a neural implant.



      "A giant flower beetle with implanted electrodes and a radio receiver on its back can be wirelessly controlled, according to research presented this week. Scientists at the University of California developed a tiny rig that receives control signals from a nearby computer. Electrical signals delivered via the electrodes command the insect to take off, turn left or right, or hover in midflight. The research, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), could one day be used for surveillance purposes or for search-and-rescue missions.

      Beetles and other flying insects are masters of flight control, integrating sensory feedback from the visual system and other senses to navigate and maintain stable flight, all the while using little energy. Rather than trying to re-create these systems from scratch, Michel Maharbiz and his colleagues aim to take advantage of the beetle's natural abilities by melding insect and machine. His group has previously created cyborg beetles, including ones that have been implanted with electronic components as pupae. But the current research, presented at the IEEE MEMS in Italy, is the first demonstration of a wireless beetle system.

      The beetle's payload consists of an off-the-shelf microprocessor, a radio receiver, and a battery attached to a custom-printed circuit board, along with six electrodes implanted into the animals' optic lobes and flight muscles. Flight commands are wirelessly sent to the beetle via a radio-frequency transmitter that's controlled by a nearby laptop. Oscillating electrical pulses delivered to the beetle's optic lobes trigger takeoff, while a single short pulse ceases flight. Signals sent to the left or right basilar flight muscles make the animal turn right or left, respectively.

      Most previous research in controlling insect flight has focused on moths. But beetles have certain advantages. The giant flower beetle's size--it ranges in weight from four to ten grams and is four to eight centimeters long--means that it can carry relatively heavy payloads. To be used for search-and-rescue missions, for example, the insect would need to carry a small camera and heat sensor.

      In addition, the beetle's flight can be controlled relatively simply. A single signal sent to the wing muscles triggers the action, and the beetle takes care of the rest. "That allows the normal function to control the flapping of the wings," says Jay Keasling, who was not involved in the beetle research but who collaborates with Maharbiz. Minimal signaling conserves the battery, extending the life of the implant. Moths, on the other hand, require a stream of electrical signals in order to keep flying.

      The research has been driven in large part by advances in the microelectronics industry, with miniaturization of microprocessors and batteries.
      "

      _____________________________________________

      Kind of gave me the heebie jeebies.
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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      Quote Originally Posted by TheGrandMom View Post
      (DARPA), could one day be used for surveillance purposes or for search-and-rescue missions.

      Haven't heard anybody mention DARPA since Metal Gear Solid.

      I wonder if they got that idea from watching that Bee in the Richie Rich movie.
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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      That is completely awesome. And the idea of bugs for surveillance has been around much longer than that movie.

      A single signal sent to the wing muscles triggers the action, and the beetle takes care of the rest.
      Absolutely love it -- not just the idea of being able to fly our own real life bugs in the future (imagine fun for the kids... the ones who want to fly them and the ones who want to tear their wings off), but also being able to use a natural system for technological purposes.


      I'm waiting for the microchip implant that lets us see and control computers with our minds.
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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      Name That Movie!
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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      I'd guess Cordyceps for inspiration.

      Nature: Fuckin' creepy.
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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      Quote Originally Posted by KingOfZeal View Post
      And the idea of bugs for surveillance has been around much longer than that movie.
      Yeah I know, I was joking. But now you'll never know if that beetle you killed was a real beetle or not.
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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      Quote Originally Posted by Amberly View Post
      Name That Movie!
      The Fifth Element
      "All of the biggest technological inventions created by man - the airplane, the automobile, the computer - says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness." - Mark Kennedy

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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      Quote Originally Posted by Amberly View Post
      Name That Movie!
      MULLLLTIIIIIPASS!

      EDIT: Solymir answered while I was still on the article. ><
      "And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be?"

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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      Quote Originally Posted by Solymir View Post
      The Fifth Element
      5 gil to Solymir!
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      Other than that the only thing I'd like to see is SE changing Homam so RDM can use it, but the chances of that happening are the same as those of me winning the Mog bonanza. Hidden Content

    13. #10
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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      First they control insects, then people.

      I need to hurry up building that bunker of mine...
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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      Quote Originally Posted by Raydeus View Post
      First they control insects, then people.

      I need to hurry up building The Death Star...
      ^^This

      At least that way there's no chance of somebody leaving out of the bunker and a beetle crawling in as the door closes...
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    17. #12
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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      This worries me.

      Will I not be able to masturbate in peace anymore?
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    19. #13
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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      Quote Originally Posted by Balfree View Post
      This worries me.

      Will I not be able to masturbate in peace anymore?
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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      Soon they will create FOXDIE, Arsenal Gear and before long they will have perfected total battlefield control.

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      Re: If they can do this to a beetle.....

      They've been doing this with mice for awhile now, although if I remember correctly it was more of a "respond to stimulus A with movement 3 and we'll fire the pleasure center of your brain" method, instead of an "We're going to make your muscles twitch involuntarily, and then let you sort things out." method.

      I would think mice would be more useful for search and rescue.

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