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