Cyborg Insects Could Be First Responders in Rescue Situations

"Bugged bugs" can go where humans can't

Bugged Bug

University of Michigan

We've seen insects with microchips attached used as zombie drones and weapon trackers, thanks to DARPA. But now a group at the University of Michigan has a plan to unleash cyborg insects equipped with sensors as first responders in dangerous environments.

The bugs carry small devices on their backs that harvest the energy of wing movements, and use it to power cameras, microphones, sensors and communication equipment.

"Through energy scavenging, we could potential power cameras, microphones and other sensors and communication equipment that an insect could carry aboard a tiny backpack," said Professor Khalil Najafi, chair of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Michigan. "We could send these 'bugged' bugs into dangerous or enclosed environments where we would not want humans to go."