How cyborg cockroaches could help rescue missions

STORY: These cyborg cockroaches

could save your life one day

Japanese researchers have discovered a way

to mount solar electronic 'backpacks' on the bugs

and direct their movements by remote control

[Kenjiro Fukuda, Senior research scientist, Riken's Thin-Film Device Laboratory]

"The main purpose we think this could be used for is searching for survivors in places where disasters have occurred. In particular, where there's an earthquake and people are buried in the rubble of collapsed buildings. Our research is pursuing the application of things that could enter into small crevices in that kind of environment.”

Madagascar hissing cockroaches were chosen

because they’re large enough to carry the equipment

and have no wings that could get in the way

"The batteries inside small robots run out quickly, so the time for exploration becomes shorter. A key benefit of a cyborg insect is that when it comes to an insect's movements, the insect is causing itself to move, so the electricity required is nowhere near as much."