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

 

Cockroach-Controlled Mobile Robot

Garnet Hertz has created a cockroach-controlled mobile robot. A hybrid biorobotic system, the robot consists of a mechanical system that amplifies and translates the bodily movements of a live giant hissing Madagascar cockroach.


(From Communication in the Animal and the Machine)

The cockroach essentially drives the robot by sitting on top of a ping pong ball that actuates the movement of the robot. When the robot detects an object in front of it, one of a set of lights goes on in front of the cockroach, stimulating it to move.


(From Communication in the Animal and the Machine)

"This project also strives to completely hand over the computational logic of the mobile robot to the insect system operator: this project will provide no "middleware" to obfuscate or sanitize the intentions of the insect. As a result of this, this project will strive to not use any microcontrollers or complex logic. In essence, this device will be built primarily with pre-microprocessor (1940-era) circuitry which will also provide an anachronistic perspecitve on Weinerian Cybernetics and pre-AI/ALife hybrid/embodied-logic systems that never came to pass.

This animal-controlled system is also meant to be framed within the context of embodiment, intelligence, hybridity and posthumanism. While posthumanism tends to view humanity's self-reflective referenc e point as significantly shifted as a result of technology, this project can be viewed as affirmation or rejection of posthuman theory; either human and computational logic can be replaced with the rugged, viseral, and adaptive logic of the cockroach, or the cockroach can be viewed as the ultimate "posthuman": proof that technology has forced a re-calculation of humanity to itself, rendering the Kafkan cockroach body as a better model of intelligence than standard human embodiment within contemporary culture."
(From Communication in the Animal and the Machine)

SF author Frank Herbert often combined hard science with animal capacity - see the entry for distrans from Dune.

Update 20-Dec-2015

Vernor Vinge wrote about a strange race in his 1992 novel A Fire Upon the Deep:

Ravna looked across the surf. When the waves backed down the sand, she could see the Skroderiders' fronds peeping out of the spray... They sat in the surf, thinking thoughts that left no imprint on their minds...

Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out." Someone had put them on mobile platforms, the skrodes. With wheels they could move along the seashores, could reach and manipulate with their fronds and tendrils. With the skrode's mechanical short-term memory, they could learn fast enough that their new mobility would not kill them...

End update.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/30/2004)

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 ( 7 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Dyson's Secret Household Robots
'...work a human being does around a house.' - Robert Heinlein, 1956.

Festo BionicSwift Bird Robots Described In 1930
'Bird-like robots now descended from the ceiling of the theatre...' - Clarence Edward Heller, 1930.

Robotics Jobs In The Food Industry
'The efficient robot waiter of the Sky Club had cleared away the remnants of an epicurean meal.' Nat Schachter and Al Zagat, 1931.

Smallest Remote-Controlled Walking Robot Crabs
A robot 'as big as a dust grain.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1937.

 

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

Sky Cruise Nuclear Powered Flying Hotel Concept
'... the huge air-freighter Jupiter.'

The Mojo Smart Contact Lens Experience
'... the lens displays would be useless without a wearable computer to do the graphics.'

Small Town Wants 60 License Plate Readers
'the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway...'

Lightyear 0 World's First Production-Ready Solar Car
'It could maintain a steady six miles per hour...'

AI Robots Excel At Trash Sorting And Recycling
'Then they press one of these here thirteen buttons...'

Could Increased Space Rocketry Damage The Ozone Layer?
'...without burning a single hydrocarbon molecule to injure the diseased atmosphere any further.'

Dyson's Secret Household Robots
'...work a human being does around a house.'

Festo BionicSwift Bird Robots Described In 1930
'Bird-like robots now descended from the ceiling of the theatre...'

Robotics Jobs In The Food Industry
'The efficient robot waiter of the Sky Club had cleared away the remnants of an epicurean meal.'

Prototype 3D Printer Could Print Arteries In Seconds
'...in the tank the new body and the new mind and memory and life has taken almost instant form.'

China Wants 'Hard Kill' Capability To Counter Starlink Satellites
'pirate three-vee satellites sanded out of orbit...'

Low-Cost Gel Pulls Water From Atmosphere Like Star Wars Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance. It had to be coaxed down...'

Pixy Flying Selfie Drone From Snap
'It hovered behind him like a large tame bee.'

Smallest Remote-Controlled Walking Robot Crabs
A robot 'as big as a dust grain.'

Pleasure Model Replicants Now Available
'Want a life-companion... sir, I can get you up any style you want.'

Robot Covered In Living Human Skin
'Hey buddy, you got a dead cat in there or what?'

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.