Scientists in Japan create giant cyborg cockroaches equipped with solar-powered backpacks
Scientists from the Cluster for Pioneering Research (CPR) of the RIKEN natural science institute based in Wako, Japan, they have created some monsters: huge cyborg cockroaches powered by solar energy.
These insects are equipped with some backpacks that work with the energy of the Sun. According to a report posted on the Teche Blog website, they are Madagascar cockroaches.
The experts explained that the special backpacks were designed to fit perfectly on the cockroaches to allow them to move freely.
How do backpacks work?
This backpack consists of a lithium polymer battery and wireless control module. Each of its components are powered by solar energy.
Using that wireless control module, the researchers can remotely control the movements of the insects. applying electrical stimulation to a part of the abdomen, which controls locomotion and allows you to turn.
The authors of this study found that the cockroach’s abdomen changes shape as it moves, while parts of its exoskeleton overlap.
Kenjiro Fukuda, Project Leader and Senior Research Scientist at RIKEN CPR, provided details on the creation he led: “Body-mounted ultra-thin organic solar cell module achieves a power output of 17.2mW, which is more than 50 times higher than the power output of current state-of-the-art energy harvesting devices on live insects”.
Motherboard’s YouTube channel, with more than a million and a half subscribers, published a video report about these incredible cockroaches and other insects modified to be controlled by scientists and move, for example, coconuts.
“We enter the world of robotic insects, a collection of mechanical cockroaches, bees, fleas and flies. Insect robots could one day perform tasks from search and rescue operations to pollinating crops”, adds the description.