Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Neural Enhanced Insects as a Sensor Platform:

Insects can do many things that people can't,
by Eric Talmadoe AP, date google cached: 4 Jan 2008.
"Insects can do many things that people can't", said Assistant Professor Isao Shimoyama, head of the bio-robot research team at Tokyo University. "The potential applications of this work for mankind could be immense." Within a few years, Shimoyama says, electronically controlled insects carrying mini-cameras or other sensory devices could be used for a variety of sensitive missions - like crawling through earthquake rubble to search for victims, or slipping under doors on espionage surveillance.

DARPA FACT FILE, A Compendium of DARPA Programs, April 2002, Brain Machine Interface pp.43, The Controlled Biological and Biomimetic Systems program leverages the extraordinary capabilities of biological systems for military and dual-use applications. One program thrust is to actively collect information from insect populations to map areas for biohazards, such as industrial chemicals and biowarfare threats. Field trials are planned to lure and trap insects for identification of environmental pathogens. Tests have shown that insects will collect airborne bacterial spores on their bodies during flight. Honeybee demonstrations are planned to map for explosives at Defense installations scheduled for transfer to non-Federal entities.

Remote Control Minds: Light flashes direct fruit fly behavior,
by Christen Brownlee, Science News, Vol. 167, No. 15, April 9, 2005, p. 228.
Researchers have exerted a little mind control over fruit flies by designing and installing genetic 'remote controls' within the insects' brains. Remote control of behavior through genetically targeted photostimulation of neurons.

Hybrid Insect MEMS Proposer’s Day,
Amit Lal, Program Manager, DARPAMTO, CSAC, MX, HERMIT, NGIMG, March 24, 2006, HIMEMS Proposers Day, March 24, 2006, Amit Lal, DARPAMTO.VISION: Create technology to reliably integrate microsystems payloads on insects to enable insect cyborgs
OBJECTIVES: Develop technology to enable highly coupled electro mechanical interfaces to insect anatomy and Demonstrate MEMS platforms for electronic locomotion control, power harvesting from insect, and eliminate extraneous biological functions. Harvard Entomologist: Carroll Williams "DARPA Program : Use object insertion ability into pupas to reliably insert microsystems (instead of glass tube) for insect control"
  • Long distance missions: Monarchs can travel for 3000 miles without feeding for 75 days
  • Fast missions: Dragonflies can travel at 45 mph for 23 hours
  • Huge payloads: Thysania Agrippina Wingspan 25cm Larval hostplants = Fabaceae, Legumes Brazil
  • Airborne missions: Cocytius duponchel Wingspan 11 - 15cm, Has been collected at 11,000 feet in La Paz, Bolivia
  • Communications: Lowpower RF and sonic microsystems
  • Sensing: Low power CMOS gas sensors, imagers, acoustic signatures, radiation sensors
  • Navigation: Low power inertial sensors, low power GPS
  • Power generation: Vibration power scavenging, (Micro) batteries, Thermoelectrics

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives (Hardcover)
by Nick Turse (Author) "Before the Complex of today came into existence there were the immensely powerful arms manufacturers of Eisenhower's military-industrial complex..." (more)
From Publishers Weekly: In his exhaustively researched first book concerning the extent to which the "military industrial complex" has infiltrated the life of the average American, journalist Turse starts off by documenting how many times supposedly innocent consumer choices support major Pentagon contractors then covers similar ground in greater detail. Turse has up-to-date information on a previously well-covered subject and casts a wide net, including the movie industry, video gaming and military recruitment tactics in his analysis. Many of Turse's facts are purely economic, but some of them are astonishing. Who knew, for example, that in 2005, the Department of Defense spent $1.2 million on donuts in Kuwait? Or that Harvard received over $300 million in DoD funds in 2002, after being pressured, despite concerns about discrimination, to allow military recruiters access to its law school students? Though Turse offers plenty of interesting information, ultimately this book would have been more convincing if, instead of simply amassing and condensing such information, he had built a stronger argument about what it all means.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“This is a deeply disturbing audit of the Pentagon’s influence on American life, especially its subtle conscription of popular imagination and entertainment technology. If Nick Turse is right, the ‘Matrix’ may be just around the corner.”—Mike Davis, author of Buda's Wagon: A Brief History of the Car Bomb

“When President Eisenhower warned of the dangers to democracy posed by the military-industrial complex, he had no idea how far it would penetrate into every aspect of our everyday lives. In impressive detail, Nick Turse shows how the military is now tied to everything from your morning cup of Starbucks to the video games your kids play before turning in for the night. It's not just political anymore—it’s personal. Turse sounds the alarm bell about the militarization of everyday life. Now it’s up to us to do something about it.”—Bill Hartung, author of How Much Are You Making on the War Daddy?

“Nick Turse’s searing, investigative journalism reveals just how deeply embedded in our lives the war-making system is and why we should be viscerally alarmed. He exposes how, with a growing contingent of corporate/entertainment/academic/media collaborators, the Pentagon has not only garrisoned the globe, but come home to dominate the United States. For anyone interested in understanding the crisis this country is in, The Complex is indispensable reading.”—Dahr Jamail, author of Beyond the Green Zone

“Americans who still think they can free themselves from the clutches of the military-industrial complex need to read this book. For example, the gimmicks the Pentagon uses to deceive, entrap, and sign up gullible 18 to 24 year-olds are anything but voluntary. Nick Turse has produced a brilliant exposé of the Pentagon’s pervasive influence in our lives.”—Chalmers Johnson, author of Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic

posted March 30, 2008 4:40 pm
Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Pentagon's Battle Bugs

From Times Online
May 24, 2007
Can cyborg moths bring down terrorists?
A moth which has a computer chip implanted in it while in the cocoon will enable soldiers to spy on insurgents, the US military hopes. Scientists are growing flesh around computer parts to create cyborg moths, which can be controlled remotely
Jonathan Richards

At some point in the not too distant future, a moth will take flight in the hills of northern Pakistan, and flap towards a suspected terrorist training camp.

But this will be no ordinary moth.

Inside it will be a computer chip that was implanted when the creature was still a pupa, in the cocoon, meaning that the moth’s entire nervous system can be controlled remotely.

The moth will thus be capable of landing in the camp without arousing suspicion, all the while beaming video and other information back to its masters via what its developers refer to as a “reliable tissue-machine interface.”

A cyborg beetle: Insect flight control through an implantable, tetherless microsystem
Sato, H. Berry, C.W. Casey, B.E. Lavella, G. Ying Yao VandenBrooks, J.M. Maharbiz, M.M.
Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor;

This paper appears in: Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, 2008. MEMS 2008. IEEE 21st International Conference on
Publication Date: 13-17 Jan. 2008
On page(s): 164-167
Location: Tucson, AZ,
ISSN: 1084-6999
ISBN: 978-1-4244-1793-3
INSPEC Accession Number: 9829463
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/MEMSYS.2008.4443618
Date Published in Issue: 2008-01-28 09:48:54.0

Abstract: We present an implantable flight control microsystem for a cyborg beetle. The system consists of multiple inserted neural and muscular stimulators, a visual stimulator, a polyimide assembly and a microcontroller. The system is powered by two size 5 cochlear microbatteries. The insect platform is Cotinis texana, a 2 cm long, 1-2 gram Green June Beetle. We also provide data on the implantation of silicon neural probes, silicon chips, microfluidic tubes, and LED's introduced during the pupal stage of the beetle.

Cyborg insects

Insects routinely outperform any man-made flying vehicle in terms of flight time, maneuverability, payload capacity and fuel efficiency. We are collaborating with Dr. Michel Maharbiz (Univ. Michigan) and other engineering scientists to attempt to create cyborg insects that carry a wireless transmitter and a range of sensors during flight. In this research, we are rearing beetle species at various oxygen levels to attempt to produce beetles with greater-than-normal size and payload capacity. We are also testing the effect of the different oxygen atmospheres on flight performance, tracheal dimensions, and the oxygen- sensitivity of flight. These studies have been partially supported by a grant from the Office of Naval Research and DARPA.

The cyborg animal spies hatching in the lab., 06 March 2008, New Scientist Print Edition, by Jessica Marshall
THE next time a moth alights on your window sill, watch what you say. Sure, it may look like an innocent visitor, irresistibly drawn to the light in your room, but it could actually be a spy - one of a new generation of cyborg insects with implants wired into their nerves to allow remote control of their movement. Be warned, flesh-and-blood bugs may soon live up to their name.

Military Cyborg Menagerie
By Noah Shachtman February 28, 2007
The cyborg flying rats are nasty, sure. But China isn't the only country looking to bend animals to their will. And pigeons aren't the only critters being controlled.
A 1994 Air Force proposal called for the use of "sex attractant chemicals for bugs" as weapons. A "'sting/attack me' chemical that causes bees to attack" could be "especially effective for infiltration routes," the document noted. It also pondered the use of "strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior."

Air Force: Bug-Like Robo-Bombs for Indoor Ops
By Noah Shachtman January 03, 2008
Air Force scientists are looking for robotic bombs that look -- and act -- like swarms of bugs and birds. In a recent presentation, Colonel Kirk Kloeppel, head of the Air Force Research Laboratory's munitions directorate, announced the Lab's interest in "bio-inspired munitions."
These, "small, autonomous" machines would "provide close-in [surveillance] information, in addition to killing intended targets," the Colonel noted. And they'd not only take out foes in urban canyons -- the self-guided munitions would "operat[e] within buildings," too.

Fly, Robot Fly By Robert Wood
First Published March 2008
Whether as rescue robot or flying spy, this micro-aerial vehicle could change how we look at the common housefly.
There is no more rewarding moment for roboticists than when they first see their creations begin to twitch with a glimmer of life. For me, that moment of paternal pride came a year ago this month, when my artificial fly first flexed its wings and flew.

Behold the Flying Robots Continued By Sandra Upson
First Published March 2008

From Times Online, February 27,2007
Scientists create remote-controlled pigeon.
Chinese scientists have succeeded in implanting electrodes in the brain of a pigeon to control the bird’s flight remotely, state media have reported. The Xinhua News Agency said scientists at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Centre at Shandong University of Science and Technology in eastern China used the micro-electrodes to command the bird to fly right or left, and up or down.

MEMS based bioelectronic neuromuscular interfaces for insect cyborg flight control
Bozkurt, A. Gilmour, R. Stern, D. Lal, A.
Cornell Univ., Ithaca;

This paper appears in: Micro Electro Mechanical Systems, 2008. MEMS 2008. IEEE 21st International Conference on
Publication Date: 13-17 Jan. 2008
On page(s): 160-163
Location: Tucson, AZ,
ISSN: 1084-6999
ISBN: 978-1-4244-1793-3
INSPEC Accession Number: 9829462
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/MEMSYS.2008.4443617
Date Published in Issue: 2008-01-28 09:48:54.0
This paper reports the first direct control of insect flight by manipulating the wing motion via microprobes and electronics introduced through the Early Metamorphosis Insertion Technology (EMIT). EMIT is a novel hybrid biology pathway for autonomous centimeter-scale robots that forms intimate electronic-tissue interfaces by placing electronics in the pupal stage of insect metamorphosis. Our new technology may enable insect cyborgs by realizing a reliable control interface between inserted microsystems and insect physiology. The design rules on the flexibility of the inserted microsystem and the investigation towards tissue- microprobe biological and electrical compatibility are also presented.

Mongoose-robot duo sniffs out landmines
Movie Camera A partnership between an affordable robot and a carnivore with an exquisite sense of smell could aid the hunt for buried landmines
Technology - 26 April 2008

The cyborg animal spies hatching in the lab
Scientists are creating a new generation of cyborg insects with implants that control their every move. Jessica Marshall investigates
Features - 06 March 2008

DNA 'nose' sniffs out explosives
An artificial nose based on a short strand of DNA can detect a range of vapours – including a constituent of TNT
Technology - 26 January 2008

Rats' brain waves could find trapped people
22 September 2004, New Scientist, by Emily Singer
Rats equipped with radios that transmit their brainwaves could soon be helping to locate earthquake survivors buried in the wreckage of collapsed buildings.

Edited by Noah Shachtman
Video: Shark Spies Steered by "Squid Juice"
I'm sure you'll all remember that happy day last March, when word broke that a Darpa-funded scientist was looking for ways to turn sharks into "stealth spies." Now, thanks to the sharp-eyed SC, we can all check out a video of the shark training in action.
Back in the spring, I figured this research was in its earliest, most basic stages -- getting a sense of what makes a shark tick. Not so. Boston University professor Jelle Atema can actually "steer a shark" -- either through "electrical stimulation of the brain" or by delivering "little odor pulses" of "squid juice" to the predator's nose.
Atema's Darpa funding is done. So Atema is looking for more cash to better train his sharky posse. Maybe to "track ocean temperature changes," or the "spread of pollution," he says. Meanwhile, "the military has... made the research classified, and it is now run out of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center," says a Boston University alumni newsletter. No word, yet, on whether the little buggers have frickin' lasers attached to their heads. But, surely, it can't be that far off.
December 13, 2006

Bee Mine Bee Mine, Baby

Since the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. military has used chickens as chemical weapons sensors, dolphins as mine detectors, and armor-wearing dogs as controllers of unruly crowds. And, generally, two-legged soldiers have been grateful for the four-legged and finned assists.


UNLEASH THE CHICKENS OF WAR! Humans aren't the only species getting ready to do battle in Iraq.

"The U.S. Army will use birds to combat chemical warfare. The Navy has deputized sea lions. And the enemy could retaliate with kamikaze camels," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Chickens will cross the desert in cages atop Humvees driven by soldiers and marines. If the chickens keel over, troops will know to don protective gear (to shield against chemical weapons).

USA Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP).

Marine dog handlers in Iraq mourn death of colleague
Sgt. Adam L. Cann killed in suicide blast in Ramadi
By Monte Morin, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Monday, January 9, 2006
RAMADI, Iraq — Marine Sgt. Adam L. Cann had less than two months to go before he finished his second tour in Iraq, and the 23-year-old military dog handler told friends that he and his trusty German Shepherd, Bruno, would be right back for a third.

The Defense Sciences Office (DSO) identifies and advances radically new technologies that promise to revolutionize military capabilities. As the most fundamental and scientifically diverse DARPA office, DSO places no limit on the range of ideas it pursues. Although distinct in their respective technical objectives, all DSO programs focus on mining "far side" science. Current programs are categorized into the following strategic thrusts:
# Training and Human Effectiveness

o Accelerated Learning
o Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System
o Education Dominance
o Improving Warfighter Information Intake Under Stress (AugCog)
o Neurotechnology for Intelligence Analysts
o RealWorld
o Training Superiority (DARWARS)
# Restorative Biomedical Technologies

* Human-Assisted Neural Devices
* Restorative Injury Repair
* Revolutionizing Prosthetics

# Maintaining Human Combat Performance

* Peak Soldier Performance
* Predicting Health and Disease
* Preventing Sleep Deprivation
* Preventing Violent Explosive Neurologic Trauma
* Surviving Blood Loss
* Tactical Underwater Navigation

# Biologically Inspired Platforms and Systems

* Biological Sensory Structure Emulation
* Bio-Optic Synthetic Systems
* Neovision
* PowerSwim
* Stealthy Sensors

Program Manager: Dr. Matthew Goodman
The Z-Man Program will develop climbing aids that will enable an individual soldier to scale vertical walls constructed of typical building materials without the need for ropes or ladders. The inspiration for these climbing aids is the technique by which geckos, spiders, and small animals scale vertical surfaces, that is, by using unique biological material systems that enable controllable adhesion using van der Waals forces or by hooking surface asperities. This program seeks to build synthetic versions of those material systems and then utilize them in a novel climbing aid optimized for use by humans. The overall goal of the program is to enable an individual soldier using dry adhesive climbing aides to scale a vertical surface at 0.5 m/s while carrying a combat load.

Cyborg Pigeons Revealed!
By Noah Shachtman EmailFebruary 27, 2007 | 2:10:00 PMCategories: Animal Kingdom, Bizarro, Drones, Eye on China, Picture This, Science!
Dave over at the Mutant Palm blog has uncovered pictures of those Chinese cyborg pigeons -- and the scientists controlling their implanted minds. So now we'll know what to look for, when our half-robot, half-flying-rat enemies attack. (pictures)