Unreal Nature

February 22, 2009

Killer Moths

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 7:48 am

All from an article, Cyborg Moth Gets a New Radio  by Sally Adee on IEEE Spectrum Online.

10 February 2009 — Attempts by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to create cybernetic insects (hybrids of biological and electronic bugs) have yielded ultralow-power radios to control the bugs’ flight and a method of powering those circuits by harvesting energy, according to research that will be reported this week at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Converence (ISSCC).

… To be considered successful, the final HI-MEMS cybernetic bug must fly 100 meters from a starting point and then be steered into a controlled landing within 5 meters of a specified end point. On landing, the insect must stay in place.

… To control the moth’s flight direction, Chandrakasan and MIT graduate student Denis Daly designed a small, lightweight, low-power radio connected to a tungsten 4-electrode neurostimulator. When this radio picks up the right commands, the device stimulates the nervous tissue in the moth’s abdominal nerve cord. The stimulation makes the moth’s abdomen move in a way that alters the direction of its flight. The radio and stimulator are powered by a hearing-aid battery.

From among the comments in a discussion of this topic on SlashDot:

At mere $3,000,000 per bug our government will create swarms of moths to charge into the windshields of Taliban truckers and irk the crap out of them.




  1. Oh, my. We’re all going to die. If not by global warming, RNK warheads, or chocolate covere cotton, then by coprophagic moths with Free Will. I’m moving to Mars.

    Comment by Dr. C. — February 22, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

  2. Gee, I can’t think why Dr. C would want to go to Mars.

    Comment by unrealnature — February 22, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

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