‘Cyborg’ cockroaches with electronic ‘backpacks’ could assist future rescue missions

If an earthquake strikes in the not-too-distant future and survivors are trapped under tonnes of rubble, the first responders to locate them could be swarms of “cyborg” cockroaches.

Japanese researchers have discovered a way to mount solar electronic “backpacks” on the bugs and direct their movements by remote control, in a plan that could save lives.

“The main purpose we think this could be used for is searching for survivors in places where disasters have occurred,” senior research scientist Kenjiro Fukuda said.

“In particular, where there’s an earthquake and people are buried in the rubble of collapsed buildings.”

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