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June 19, 2007

Cyborg moths for surveillance and weaponized insects

Quote from Deathrace 2000.
Machine Gun Joe VeTurbo: Frankenstein! You want Frankenstein? I'll give you Frankenstein!
[Joe opens fire into the stands]

From the times Online, the creation of insects (moths) whose flesh grows around computer parts – known from science fiction as ‘cyborgs’ – has been described as one of the most ambitious robotics projects ever conceived by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), the research and development arm of the US Department of Defense. The moth will be capable of landing in an area 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.”


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Moths are creatures that need little food and can fly all kinds of places," he continued. "A bunch of experiments have been done over the past couple of years where simple animals, such as rats and cockroaches, have been operated on and driven by joysticks, but this is the first time where the chip has been injected in the pupa stage and ‘grown’ inside it. “Once the moth hatches, machine learning is used to control it

Debates such as those over stem cell research would “pale in comparison” to the increasingly blurred distinction between creatures – including humans – and machines, Mr Brooks, told an audience at the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science.

“Biological engineering is coming. There are already more than 100,000 people with cochlear implants, which have a direct neural connection, and chips are being inserted in people’s retinas to combat macular degeneration. By the 2012 Olympics, we’re going to be dealing with systems which can aid the oxygen uptake of athletes.


Weaponized Insects

I would note that you could also use this technology to control poisonous insects.

Weaponization of insects:
Control bugs to spread disease
Control poisonous bugs for assassinations
Control bugs and have them lay eggs to destroy crops (locusts)

Also, note you can use gene therapy, RNA interference and activation to enhance characteristics of your weaponized insect. Have your bug fly faster and farther, have its venom be more deadly, attach artificial poison sacks and needles etc...

Have your bug hitch a ride on your cyborg controlled falcon.

On the plus side you could control bees and stuff for more precise pollination for better agriculture.

This is related to the Chinese implanting a chip to control the flight of a pidgeon

A peer to peer network of cyborg moths

A point brought up by Jamais Cascio (how do they relay the information out):
On the electronics side a lot of the smart dust work for low power systems can be ported over to the Hybrid insect-MEMS.

I would think that they could do some peer to peer transfers.
A lot of moths.
With peer to peer you can create redundancy so that if you destroy one moth and set of sensors you can still operate.

Also look at the optical communication options for smart dust.

For a major node with more power and range stick it onto a pidgeon or larger bird. It could also be the master long-range instruction receiver.

1 comments:

Michael said...

"On the plus side you could control bees and stuff for more precise pollination for better agriculture"

Assuming you could even find the bees.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_Collapse_Disorder