Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Remote-Controlled Cyborg Beetle Video

Remote-controlled flight of a cyborg beetle has been nicely demonstrated by Berkeley researchers. Take a look at the video, then read the description.


(Cyborg Beetles)

In summary, we demonstrated a miniaturized, pronotum-mounted system consisting of a neural stimulator, muscular stimulators, a radio-equipped microcontroller and a microbattery capable of the continuous flight control of 1 gram / 2 cm and 8 gram / 6 cm beetles in free flight.

To our knowledge, this is one of the first reports on a reliable, neuro-stimulated flight control mechanism in insects. Although there have been prior reports on the influence of electrical stimulus of the brain on insect flight, the mechanisms and microsystem presented here offer distinct advantage for the remote control and study of insect flight.

One of the major advantages of our method is that the stimulation method is surprisingly simple and robust, and it implicitly makes use of the beetle’s own flight control capabilities – the beetle powers its own flight and levels to the horizon; perturbations are applied whenever a heading or elevation change is required. The implant method described here suffers from variability in stimulus voltage from insect-to-insect; this is likely due to the coarse nature of the stimulator and the use of electrical potential as the controlled variable (as opposed to charge delivered).

Smaller footprint microfabricated electrodes should improve the first issue, as well as reduce the overall power consumption of each stimulus. Moreover, newer designs should likely use charge delivery (as opposed to voltage levels) from microcontroller-driven current sources to elicit responses.

The idea for remote-controlled insects derives from a 1990 science fiction novel by Thomas A. Easton:

"There's the brain, the spinal chord, the motor centers. A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain." She explained how the controller, a computer, translated movements of the tiller or control yoke and the throttle and brake pedals into electrical signals and routed them as appropriate to the jets or the genimal's motor centers, triggering the genimal's own nervous system into commanding its muscles to serve the driver. All the necessary programming was built into the hardware...
(Read more about the Roachster from Sparrowhawk)

The remote controlled cyborg insect idea had an interesting mention in the excellent new John Twelve Hawks book The Golden City; this shows you how these cyborg insects will be used in the near future.

Doyle swiveled in his chair, reached up to a shelf, and took down a clear plastic box that held a dragonfly clinging to a twig... The dragonfly had been turned into something called a HIMEMS... Ramirez and the others simply called them "robobugs."

...he opened the box, took out the twig and carefully placed the HIMEMS in the middle of a table. The hybrid dragonfly was a blue-eyed darner with a long body... and a tiny video lens.

Slowly the insect moved its two pairs of wings... Doyle tapped his finger on the table, and the startled insect flew away.

Doyle... activated the HIMEMS program on the computer. The first image on the monitor showed something dark, with a rough texture, and Doyle guessed that the dragonfly was resting on a tree branch. He attached a joystick to the computer and gently pushed the lever forward. The dragonfly responded like a toy airplane, taking off and heading east...

He had learned to control the hybrids. You couldn't direct precise movements, but you could send the dragonfly in a general direction and then make it stop and hover...

Philip K. Dick also deserves a mention for the commercial flies from his 1966 novel The Simulacra, and don't forget Jeff Noon's blurbflies from his 2000 novel Nymphomation.

Read more about their previous cyborg beetle research; see also the research paper for full details - Remote radio control of insect flight (pdf).

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/26/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Biology ")

Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
'The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon.' - Larry Niven, 1965.

Machete-Wielding Philodendron Isn't Going To Take It Anymore
'The tree ended its wild larruping, stood like a dreaming giant liable to wake into frenzy at any moment.' - Eric Frank Russell, 1943.

Tsunami Forecasts Improved By Ionosphere Signals
'Swifter than any tide could ebb, the water was receding from the shore.'

EctoLife Concept Video Artificial Womb For Baby Mass Production
'A great many of these synthetic babies were made and allowed to grow up under ideal conditions...' - Dr. David H. Keller, 1928.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Ulm Sleep Pods For The Homeless
'The lid lifted and she crawled inside...'

Prophetic Offers Lucid Dreaming Halo With Morpheus-1 AI
''Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer...'

More Like A Tumblebug Than A Motorcycle
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'

Tesla Camera-Only Vision Predicted In 1930's SF
'By its means, the machine can see.'

First Ever Proof Of Water On Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Aptera Solar EV More Stylish Than Heinlein Steel Tortoise
'When confronted by hills, or rough terrain, it did not stop, but simply slowed until the task demanded equaled its steady power output.'

Gigantic Space Sunshade Would Fight Global Warming
'...the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass.'

Untethered Spacewalk's 50th Anniversary
'But that space walk of mine wasn't so very amazing.'

ESA Designs Huge Inflatable Moonbase
'It was like being inside a balloon; indeed, that was exactly where he was.'

AlphaGarden Robot Cares For Gardens Better Than Humans
'...a simple clock-set servok with pipe and hose arms.'

Let's Make Slaver Sunflowers! Engineering Plants To Reflect Light
'The mirror-blossom was a terrible weapon.'

TeslaBot Uber Driver (2024) And The Automatic Motorist (1911)
'Robots have worse problems than anybody'

DiffuseBot Uses Generative AI To Invent New Soft Robots
'It embodies several small-scale multiple stampers, apparently for dealing with sheet metal.'

Philips Smart Palm Recognition Smart Deadbolt
'A palm lock must be keyed to one individual's hand shape...'

BMind Smart Mirror from Baracoda
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the greatest wellness of all?

Ballie Your AI Robot Companion From Samsung
Projects your content anywhere you like.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.