Dystopia alert: Researchers turn cockroaches into cyborg slaves


cyborg cockroach 1
There are two schools of thought regarding mankind’s eventual merging with robotics and technology. This coming cyborg revolution will either lead to a happy shiny place where everybody lives a really long time in relative health or it will lead to a horrendous dystopia where we all march in lockstep like proud members of the Borg. This post, unfortunately, has to deal with the latter. You see, researchers have gotten one step closer to realizing our collective Borg fever dream. Resistance might be futile. We might be assimilated.

A team from the IBionicS laboratory at North Carolina State University have mounted circuitry on a giant cockroach and turned it into their absolute and total cyborg slave. If that sounds a bit scary that’s because it is. The scientists mounted a wireless control circuit on the back of a Madagascar Hissing cockroach, then attached wires that feed low level electrical impulses into the roach’s antennae. This makes the roach think that it’s met an obstacle, causing it to steer in the opposite direction. The researchers literally control the roach’s every movement.

As you can see in the video below, it works sort of like controlling a toy RC car. Only, you know, it’s a living being with its own impulses for survival. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The technology is actually being prepped to be used to find people buried in rubble after a calamity. They’ll send these cyborg roaches in where people can’t get to so they can locate survivors. Of course, that could just as easily be a cover story and their next step is to build an army of cockroaches to do their bidding. I guess we’ll see.