NCBI ROFL: Bionic insect cyborgs: 90% insect, 10% robot, 100% terrifying.

By ncbi rofl | July 21, 2011 7:00 pm

Balloon-assisted flight of radio-controlled insect biobots.

“We report on radio-controlled insect biobots by directing the flight of Manduca sexta through neuromuscular activation. Early metamorphosis insertion technology was used to implant metal wire probes into the insect brain and thorax tissue. Inserted probes were adopted by the developing tissue as a result of the metamorphic growth. A mechanically and electrically reliable interface with the insect tissue was realized with respect to the insect’s behavioral and anatomical adoption. Helium balloons were used to increase the payload capacity and flight duration of the insect biobots enabling a large number of applications. A super-regenerative receiver with a weight of 650 mg and 750 muW of power consumption was built to control the insect flight path through remotely transmitted electrical stimulation pulses. Initiation and cessation of flight, as well as yaw actuation, were obtained on freely flying balloon-assisted moths through joystick manipulation on a conventional model airplane remote controller.”

Photo: flickr/ sarihuella

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  • Melissa

    Oh how I would love to play with a remote controlled biobot! I want to see it in action.

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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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