A swarm of remote-controlled cyborg cockroaches was created in Singapore (2 photos + 1 video)

22 April 2024

It sounds scary, but if all the tests are successful, then in the future they will be able to be used for search and rescue operations after natural disasters.

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University took 20 Madagascar cockroaches, designed them with tiny backpack-style electronic devices, and released them into the desert to test the swarm. These insects can carry up to 15 grams of equipment, including infrared cameras and processors that detect living people.

During the experiment, cockroaches were given commands from “backpacks” to sensory organs through electrodes. The insects successfully moved left and right and generally did a good job of moving in the desired direction.


To complicate the experiment, out of the entire swarm, only one cockroach knew where to go, and the rest were followers and only knew the location of their neighbors. Thus, it was possible to achieve a more orderly movement of the entire swarm.

Moreover, it was found that cockroaches are prone to mutual aid. If one falls on his back, the neighbors promptly help him up.

“This research makes an important contribution to the development of robotics and demonstrates the potential for integrating biological organisms with artificial technologies,” the authors of the scientific work noted.

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