Scientists use cockroaches for search and rescue

BiobotCockroaches that have electronic circuit boards strapped to their backs are to be used to find and help rescue human victims subject to catastrophes.

The North Carolina State University team said it has allowed so called “cyborg cockroaches” to pick up sounds using microphones and search for the source of the sound.

The insects can be fitted with two kinds of backpacks.  One uses a single microphone that can pick up sounds that can then be wirelessly sent to search teams.

The second type is fitted with three directional mikes to pinpoint the direction of the sound and steer the cockroach in the right direction. The researchers call the creatures “biobots”.

How do you control any wayward cockroaches? The team said it has already shown technology that keeps the insects in a defined area and also to keep them within range of each other.