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Cyborg Insects

Discussion in 'News' started by BURLAP, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. BURLAP

    BURLAP Member

    Joined: Jul 29, 2004 Messages: 307 Likes Received: 0
    U.S. military plans to make insect cyborgs
    By SHAUN WATERMAN
    UPI Homeland and National Security Editor
    http://www.upi.com/inc/view.php?StoryID=20...12-073227-3194r

    WASHINGTON, March 12 (UPI) -- Facing problems in its efforts to train insects or build robots that can mimic their flying abilities, the U.S. military now wants to develop "insect cyborgs" that can go where its soldiers cannot.

    The Pentagon is seeking applications from researchers to help them develop technology that can be implanted into living insects to control their movement and transmit video or other sensory data back to their handlers.

    In an announcement posted on government Web sites last week, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, says it is seeking "innovative proposals to develop technology to create insect cyborgs," by implanting tiny devices into insect bodies while the animals are in their pupal stage.

    As an insect metamorphoses from a larva to an adult, the solicitation notice says, its "body goes through a renewal process that can heal wounds and reposition internal organs around foreign objects, including tiny (mechanical) structures that might be present."

    The goal is to create technology that can achieve "the delivery of an insect within five meters of a specific target located at hundred meters away, using electronic remote control, and/or global positioning system." Once at the target, "the insect must remain stationary either indefinitely or until otherwise instructed ... (and) must also be able to transmit data from (Department of Defense) relevant sensors ... includ(ing) gas sensors, microphones, video, etc."

    The move follows challenges the agency says it has encountered in its efforts to train insects to detect explosives or other chemical compounds, and to mimic their flight and movement patterns using small robots.

    Several years ago, DARPA launched a $3 million project to train honeybees to find landmines. According to a report by the American Forces Press Service, scientists used sugar-soaked sponges treated with explosives to get the bees to identify the smell as a possible food source.

    But last week's solicitation says the project didn't work out.

    "These activities have highlighted key challenges involving behavioral and chemical control of insects... Instinctive behaviors for feeding and mating -- and also for responding to temperature changes -- prevented them from performing reliably," it says.

    As far as the development of purely robotic or mechanical unmanned aerial vehicles -- so-called micro-UAVs -- the solicitation says that developing energy sources both powerful and light enough "present(s) a key technical challenge."

    Both sets of challenges "might be effectively overcome" by the development of insect cyborgs, says the solicitation.

    The devices DARPA wants to implant are micro-electro-mechanical systems, or MEMS. MEMS technology uses tiny silicon wafers like those used as the basis for computer microchips. But instead of merely laying circuits on them, MEMS technology can actually cut and shape the silicon, turning the chip into a microscopic mechanical device.

    The solicitation envisages the implanted device as a "platform" onto which "various microsystem payloads can be mounted ... with the goal of controlling insect locomotion, sens(ing) local environment, and scaveng(ing) power."

    "Possible methods of locomotion control may be sensory manipulation, direct muscle interface, or neural interface to the insect," says the document, known as a Broad Agency Announcement. It goes on to say that sensory manipulation, for instance by projecting ultrasonic vibrations or ejecting pheromones, is likely to be species-specific, whereas technology to directly control insect muscles or brains "may be more general."

    DARPA believes that the heat and mechanical power generated by the insects themselves as they move around "may be harnessed to power the microsystem payload" eliminating the need for batteries or other power systems.

    The objective is to transform the insects into "predictable devices that can be used for various micro-UAV missions requiring unobtrusive entry into areas inaccessible or hostile to humans."

    Among potential missions, says the solicitation, would be the collection of "explosive signatures from within buildings, caves, or other inaccessible locations."

    Although flying insects like dragonflies and moths are "of great interest," the document says, "Hopping and swimming insects could also meet final demonstration goals."

    Implanting the devices during pupation is key, says the document, because "the insects are immobile and can be manipulated without interference from instinctive motion."

    As part of their honeybee training project, DARPA glued tiny radio transmitters to the bees, to help track their movement.

    The solicitation says that the healing processes which insects go through as they change from larvae into adults "are expected to yield more reliable bio-electromechanical interface... as compared to adhesively bonded systems to adult insects."

    Inserting the devices in pupae could also "enable assembly-line like fabrication of hybrid insect-MEMS interfaces, providing a considerable cost advantage," says the solicitation.

    DARPA will hold a day-long conference for contractors interested in submitting proposals on March 24.


    © Copyright 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved
     
  2. lord_casek

    lord_casek 12oz Royalty

    Joined: Jan 24, 2006 Messages: 27,078 Likes Received: 1,007
    they've had a cat, some roaches, and some mice....
    all remote controled (so to speak).

    these fucknuggets are just blowing our money.

    oh, i forgot about the shark and the dolphins.



    heard about their plans fro nanotech?
     
  3. BURLAP

    BURLAP Member

    Joined: Jul 29, 2004 Messages: 307 Likes Received: 0
    i haven't heard, and i don't think i want to know.
     
  4. Dawood

    Dawood Elite Member

    Joined: May 8, 2002 Messages: 4,677 Likes Received: 146
    the scary thing is, when people develop technology like this It's only a matter of time before every Joe flipperhead with some money to burn can get one and use it for whatever he wants. (as if our good guy govt. is'nt bad enough.)
     
  5. Smart

    Smart Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Apr 14, 2000 Messages: 17,017 Likes Received: 175
    Well, as far as I know the Dolphins are just 'trained'... not really 'controlled'... but yeah, sharks and roaches...

    So, in the future when you squish some nasty ass roach on your back porch you'll be squishing a couple thousand dollars of 'device' and can be arrested for destruction of government property... so, whether you're guilty of whatever they're investigating or not, you've also just obsructed justice so warrants of all sorts are suddenly valid and you're gonna be a smaller dot than the robo-roach you crushed to start it all.

    BIG BROTHER loves you.
     
  6. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    yo i squashed this bug the other day and it fucking exploded and shot something into my eye.
    yeah my life is that crazy for some reason
     
  7. lord_casek

    lord_casek 12oz Royalty

    Joined: Jan 24, 2006 Messages: 27,078 Likes Received: 1,007

    well, not thousands. i'd expect that they would be smart enough to wait (maybe hey have waited) until technology that (cool?) advanced costs a little less before they unleash the robot cockroach army.

    as far as dolphins, i've heard other than being just trained, they have also been a part of the implant experiments.

    the cat was the coolest. they were making it walk forward, left, right, and piss on things. all central nervous system type activity. oh, and it could jump.i wonder how the cat felt about that?

    insects are like robots anyway. cats, sharks, and dolphins probably have a little mroe advanced nervous systems. possibly allowing them to construct thoughts above toddler (human) level. anyhow, that's a whole other debate/discussion.
     
  8. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    sounds like something out of a comic book. some nut job with a bunch of rats or roaches or some shit he commands to go and kill.

     

  9. Technology trickling down to the consumer level is actually a good thing in the grand scheme of things like this. Control of the technology comes back down to us. It's dangerous when it stays in the hands of a knowledgeable few.

    I've heard about the roaches and mice, but not the cat. That sounds insane. Got any links, casek?
     
  10. BURLAP

    BURLAP Member

    Joined: Jul 29, 2004 Messages: 307 Likes Received: 0
    the cat is an old school cia thing...it had an antennae in it's tail and was supposed to eavesdrop on the russians, but i believe it got smucked by a car in the process.
     
  11. Well, that sounds fairly straightforward, but it's quite removed from the remote-controlled cat casek is talking about.
     
  12. Smart

    Smart Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Apr 14, 2000 Messages: 17,017 Likes Received: 175
    Yeah, I've heard of that cat... the 'bugged' one... but it was surely only 'trained'. That happened in the 60's. They spent tons of money training up this cat and getting the electronics working and the first time they sent it out it got crushed crossing the street to the Russian embasy.

    Then the project was scrapped. I've always wondered about those CIA agents... get all riled up to do this super duper thing, set it in motion and within minutes you got nothin... reminds me of Las Vegas, or Homer Simpson.
     
  13. dumy

    dumy Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 8, 2004 Messages: 5,056 Likes Received: 0
  14. Dawood

    Dawood Elite Member

    Joined: May 8, 2002 Messages: 4,677 Likes Received: 146

    Technology trickling down to the consumer level is actually a good thing in the grand scheme of things like this. Control of the technology comes back down to us. It's dangerous when it stays in the hands of a knowledgeable few.

    I've heard about the roaches and mice, but not the cat. That sounds insane. Got any links, casek?
    [post=4390256]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/b][/quote]


    yeah, it's a good thing. and privacy is a bad thing.

    just keep saying it over and over.
     
  15. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    Hopefully countersurveillance doesn't become a necessary part of everyday life.
     
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