Researchers Remotely Control Cockroaches With Electronic Backpack

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BiasedVeracity:

DugMachine:
Why are so many people sorry for the roach? Roaches don't have emotions...

Actually, they're using their fear response to predators to maneuver them. So not only do they have emotions, but they're being exploited for them. If we did this enough to mammals, they'd become extremely neurotic as a result.

Hmm well sorry but my deep rooted phobia will never let me have sympathy for roaches :(

Uber Waddles:
Damn. I'm not sure if this is something thats pretty awesome, or pretty scary.

And I'd love to see what people have to say about the morality behind using biobotics in a way like this. Is this unethical to be doing such experiments? Pretty amazing none the less. I certainly hope these get applied in a practical way though

Of course it's unethical. It removes the free will of the cockroach. We may not like them but they are living creatures and this is constant torture of a living being.

Human domination of the planet infringes upon non-human animals all the time, but rarely in such a direct, malicious, and torturous manner.

If it turns out aliens exist, it's not difficult to imagine a powerful race of beings considering humans as "pests" and "finding a use for them" by strapping a torture device to our backs and controlling us remotely. "This is a great use for humans, who seem to serve no other purpose than generally being gross" might even be blithely posted by one of them on their version of the internet.

Damn those cockroaches and their lack of useful purpose to human beings! Now finally they may take the grand step of being constantly tortured in the name of service to humanity!

briankoontz:

Human domination of the planet infringes upon non-human animals all the time, but rarely in such a direct, malicious, and torturous manner.

If it turns out aliens exist, it's not difficult to imagine a powerful race of beings considering humans as "pests" and "finding a use for them" by strapping a torture device to our backs and controlling us remotely. "This is a great use for humans, who seem to serve no other purpose than generally being gross" might even be blithely posted by one of them on their version of the internet.

Damn those cockroaches and their lack of useful purpose to human beings! Now finally they may take the grand step of being constantly tortured in the name of service to humanity!

Exactly. If humans never had been mechanically induced to have the feeling of being chased around by a predator all the time, then they'd serve no other purpose than simply being gross. At least, that's what an alien would think! Are we really as cruel as the cruelest aliens that come from our imaginations?

I find their lack of compassion disturbing. Additionally I am not afraid of what other people think of me when I say that there will be other people who would want to use this on bigger animals.

briankoontz:
Of course it's unethical. It removes the free will of the cockroach. We may not like them but they are living creatures and this is constant torture of a living being.

You do understand that cockroaches don't have any intelligence and thus could not in any way posses will, right? They are, basically, little biological automata operating on a set of instructions preprogrammed in them by evolution. And you really gotta love people clamouring to defend rights of the cockroaches when most of them would kill one on sight. Hypocrisy abounds.

BiasedVeracity:

Are we really as cruel as the cruelest aliens that come from our imaginations?

I cannot see why not given that such traits are usually that of the most successful animals. That or complete apathy, the lion does not feel any remorse or sadism when it hunts and kills. The same is completely inverse for dolphins and primates, those savage, lovable fuckers.

Damn, I knew they were doing tests and shit on remote controlled insects/animals, but I didn't think that they'd actually managed to make a working version for roaches. This is kinda cool, really.

Boudica:
Can we stop torturing bugs like children and work on curing AIDS or something?

Shockingly enough, Electrical Engineers aren't that great at the whole 'Curing of diseases' thing. Even more shocking though, is that despite the Electrical Engineers 'torturing bugs', the Medical Researchers, Pharmacologists and Virologists working on AIDS cures are completely unaffected.

The beautiful thing about having a fuck-ton of scientists working on many projects at once is that one group can 'like children' while the other groups do... whatever the fuck it is they want to do.

Shanicus:
Damn, I knew they were doing tests and shit on remote controlled insects/animals, but I didn't think that they'd actually managed to make a working version for roaches. This is kinda cool, really.

Boudica:
Can we stop torturing bugs like children and work on curing AIDS or something?

Shockingly enough, Electrical Engineers aren't that great at the whole 'Curing of diseases' thing. Even more shocking though, is that despite the Electrical Engineers 'torturing bugs', the Medical Researchers, Pharmacologists and Virologists working on AIDS cures are completely unaffected.

The beautiful thing about having a fuck-ton of scientists working on many projects at once is that one group can 'like children' while the other groups do... whatever the fuck it is they want to do.

Thank you for missing the point and taking my comment literally. It was funny.

But seriously, I'm sure this is indeed the best way for them to spend time and money. Torturing insects is hella awesome.

Every time there's a science thread, there's always some cry of "why are they doing X when they could be curing cancer?!" As if there was only one scientist in the world who REALLY wanted to do all this cool stuff, but everybody wants him to cure cancer instead. Granted, at least half of these statements are probably jokes, but that makes me worry for the other half.

Anyway, remote-controlled roaches: pretty cool idea. I wonder what the range on those transceivers is. If we can produce the circuitry cheaply enough, the possibilities are endless. I can see the military taking this up, of course, but what about using them to explore small areas that would otherwise be unreachable. Take a stroll around the finer parts of the NYC sewer system, or maybe use them to explore deeper into caves where the crevices are too small for a person to fit. Maybe we can attach a camera to one as well. I've always wondered what Chernobyl looks like from the inside.

Every cockroach that walk near me is dead anyways, so I don't care. I wish could put an jetpack to my dog, will make walking with him way more fun.

Dear god the cockroach-lovers(?) are in full force today.

A cockroach does not have anything near the level of consciousness that even the most primitive vertebrate has, and cannot feel pain (or hunger). Even its 'fear response' is not going to be linked to anything other than raw instinct and certainly not tied to any thought processes, making a comparison to, say, a dog or rat completely unwarranted.

Boudica:
Can we stop torturing bugs like children and work on curing AIDS or something?

Did you even read the article? Not only will this have major applications for disaster relief, but it's advancing immensely our understanding of neurology and how it meshes with biology, which, long-term, is pretty damn useful for humanity. This data, when combined with various other cyborg-based technology like the dead moth and dead rat whose brains were used to control machinery, will be able to be taken by other researchers and probably be used to find real-world applications or even used to find the cause/cure of some neurological disorder.

Besides, these are electrical engineers. Why in the hell would they be wasting resources trying to find cures for viral diseases?

chadachada123:
Dear god the cockroach-lovers(?) are in full force today.

A cockroach does not have anything near the level of consciousness that even the most primitive vertebrate has, and cannot feel pain (or hunger). Even its 'fear response' is not going to be linked to anything other than raw instinct and certainly not tied to any thought processes, making a comparison to, say, a dog or rat completely unwarranted.

Boudica:
Can we stop torturing bugs like children and work on curing AIDS or something?

Did you even read the article? Not only will this have major applications for disaster relief, but it's advancing immensely our understanding of neurology and how it meshes with biology, which, long-term, is pretty damn useful for humanity. This data, when combined with various other cyborg-based technology like the dead moth and dead rat whose brains were used to control machinery, will be able to be taken by other researchers and probably be used to find real-world applications or even used to find the cause/cure of some neurological disorder.

Besides, these are electrical engineers. Why in the hell would they be wasting resources trying to find cures for viral diseases?

Or, how about we don't torture animals and use them like tools? Okay, cool.

Boudica:

chadachada123:
Dear god the cockroach-lovers(?) are in full force today.

A cockroach does not have anything near the level of consciousness that even the most primitive vertebrate has, and cannot feel pain (or hunger). Even its 'fear response' is not going to be linked to anything other than raw instinct and certainly not tied to any thought processes, making a comparison to, say, a dog or rat completely unwarranted.

Boudica:
Can we stop torturing bugs like children and work on curing AIDS or something?

Did you even read the article? Not only will this have major applications for disaster relief, but it's advancing immensely our understanding of neurology and how it meshes with biology, which, long-term, is pretty damn useful for humanity. This data, when combined with various other cyborg-based technology like the dead moth and dead rat whose brains were used to control machinery, will be able to be taken by other researchers and probably be used to find real-world applications or even used to find the cause/cure of some neurological disorder.

Besides, these are electrical engineers. Why in the hell would they be wasting resources trying to find cures for viral diseases?

Or, how about we don't torture animals and use them like tools? Okay, cool.

It's not torture, because it's a cockroach, as I explained. If this was a dog, then you would have a point.

"Okay, cool."

chadachada123:
It's not torture, because it's a cockroach, as I explained. If this was a dog, then you would have a point.

Oh, I forgot how torturing things is cool if you don't care for the victim. Awesome morality.

Oh great, looks like some scientists have read we3 and totally missed the point of that comic. Grant Morrison will be annoyed

Boudica:

chadachada123:
It's not torture, because it's a cockroach, as I explained. If this was a dog, then you would have a point.

Oh, I forgot how torturing things is cool if you don't care for the victim. Awesome morality.

It's not about 'caring,' it's about the fact that cockroaches don't think or feel in any sense that would warrant using the word torture.

To reiterate: mammals can feel pain. Most fish can feel pain. Reptiles (last I checked) can feel pain. Birds can feel pain. Lobsters cannot feel pain. Cockroaches cannot feel pain. This reason alone already makes any physical damage to a cockroach not even remotely comparable to doing the same to a healthy vertebrate, without even including the differences in thought processes.

Edited to remove snark.

chadachada123:

Boudica:

chadachada123:
It's not torture, because it's a cockroach, as I explained. If this was a dog, then you would have a point.

Oh, I forgot how torturing things is cool if you don't care for the victim. Awesome morality.

It's not about 'caring,' it's about the fact that cockroaches don't think or feel in any sense that would warrant using the word torture.

To reiterate: mammals can feel pain. Most fish can feel pain. Reptiles (last I checked) can feel pain. Birds can feel pain. Lobsters cannot feel pain. Cockroaches cannot feel pain. This reason alone already makes any physical damage to a cockroach not even remotely comparable to doing the same to a healthy vertebrate, without even including the differences in thought processes.

Edited to remove snark.

Oh, sorry, I was waiting for you to prove any of those claims. I'll continue not enjoying the cruelty and abuse until you get around to showing some.

Boudica:

chadachada123:

Boudica:
Oh, I forgot how torturing things is cool if you don't care for the victim. Awesome morality.

It's not about 'caring,' it's about the fact that cockroaches don't think or feel in any sense that would warrant using the word torture.

To reiterate: mammals can feel pain. Most fish can feel pain. Reptiles (last I checked) can feel pain. Birds can feel pain. Lobsters cannot feel pain. Cockroaches cannot feel pain. This reason alone already makes any physical damage to a cockroach not even remotely comparable to doing the same to a healthy vertebrate, without even including the differences in thought processes.

Edited to remove snark.

Oh, sorry, I was waiting for you to prove any of those claims. I'll continue not enjoying the cruelty and abuse until you get around to showing some.

Which claims, exactly, do you want proof for?

After searching for a bit, it appears that I had originally only read articles arguing that lobsters do not feel pain, and thought this to be the case. Apparently, according to Wikipedia at least, the question is "unresolved." I can admit that the data for lobsters is inconclusive.

Regarding MOST invertebrates, though:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/372/lega/witn/shelly-e.htm

According to this official Canadian report, most invertebrates most likely do not feel pain, with the inclusion of pain receptors meaning nothing since they don't have the brain power necessary to *feel* pain, even if they react to stimuli in a negative manner.

The main reason that I assert that most invertebrates can't feel pain is that they lack the neocortex that mammals have to feel pain, and we currently do not have any models for pain reception that don't include them, to my knowledge.

Could cockroaches feel pain? Yes, if a method for feeling pain without a neocortex exists. Is such a method understood? Not as far as I know, no.

chadachada123:

Boudica:

chadachada123:

It's not about 'caring,' it's about the fact that cockroaches don't think or feel in any sense that would warrant using the word torture.

To reiterate: mammals can feel pain. Most fish can feel pain. Reptiles (last I checked) can feel pain. Birds can feel pain. Lobsters cannot feel pain. Cockroaches cannot feel pain. This reason alone already makes any physical damage to a cockroach not even remotely comparable to doing the same to a healthy vertebrate, without even including the differences in thought processes.

Edited to remove snark.

Oh, sorry, I was waiting for you to prove any of those claims. I'll continue not enjoying the cruelty and abuse until you get around to showing some.

Which claims, exactly, do you want proof for?

After searching for a bit, it appears that I had originally only read articles arguing that lobsters do not feel pain, and thought this to be the case. Apparently, according to Wikipedia at least, the question is "unresolved." I can admit that the data for lobsters is inconclusive.

Regarding MOST invertebrates, though:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/372/lega/witn/shelly-e.htm

According to this official Canadian report, most invertebrates most likely do not feel pain, with the inclusion of pain receptors meaning nothing since they don't have the brain power necessary to *feel* pain, even if they react to stimuli in a negative manner.

The main reason that I assert that most invertebrates can't feel pain is that they lack the neocortex that mammals have to feel pain, and we currently do not have any models for pain reception that don't include them, to my knowledge.

Could cockroaches feel pain? Yes, if a method for feeling pain without a neocortex exists. Is such a method understood? Not as far as I know, no.

So, as I said, I'll carry on not enjoying the torture of animals because "well, they might not feel like us" doesn't cut it.

DugMachine:
Why are so many people sorry for the roach? Roaches don't have emotions... Maybe i'm just biased cause I have a huge phobia of roaches and would love it if they all died and went away forever.

Seriously though, we can't pick a more pleasant bug to do this? Nice beetle perhaps? If i'm trapped under the rubble of a torn down building and they send a search party of robotic roaches after me i'm squishing all the fuckers so guess i'll never be found.

I'm with this guy. Roaches gross me the hell out. Beyond that though... Bugs are sort of the only creatures I personally feel no sense of pity for. I mean, they have thousands of offspring, don't seem to be unique or independent from the others of their kind, and are generally swarm creatures.

Harming cats/dogs/birds/whales/reptiles/foul/etc sure... Sympathy, but... BUGS?

So they've learned how to mimic Ampulex Compressa. That's kinda interesting but I'm not sure it's as practical as they're making it out to be.

I think the only reason that people (including myself) feel uneasy about it is because of the notion that this could one day be used on us. It's not like I would have a problem stepping on a roach or calling an exterminator to eliminate them if they set up in my house. Thus,I imagine that my unease is a wholly irrational response.

Either that or because this is kind of "in your face" where stepping on them is something we don't give a thought to, we're giving it more thought than we normally would.

Boudica:

chadachada123:

Which claims, exactly, do you want proof for?

After searching for a bit, it appears that I had originally only read articles arguing that lobsters do not feel pain, and thought this to be the case. Apparently, according to Wikipedia at least, the question is "unresolved." I can admit that the data for lobsters is inconclusive.

Regarding MOST invertebrates, though:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/372/lega/witn/shelly-e.htm

According to this official Canadian report, most invertebrates most likely do not feel pain, with the inclusion of pain receptors meaning nothing since they don't have the brain power necessary to *feel* pain, even if they react to stimuli in a negative manner.

The main reason that I assert that most invertebrates can't feel pain is that they lack the neocortex that mammals have to feel pain, and we currently do not have any models for pain reception that don't include them, to my knowledge.

Could cockroaches feel pain? Yes, if a method for feeling pain without a neocortex exists. Is such a method understood? Not as far as I know, no.

So, as I said, I'll carry on not enjoying the torture of animals because "well, they might not feel like us" doesn't cut it.

And I'll carry on supporting saving human lives as long as it isn't likely to cause pain to animals.

Quit bullshitting, too, it's not "well they might not feel like us," it's "we have no evidence that they feel like us." They are not equivalent.

Boudica:

Shanicus:
Damn, I knew they were doing tests and shit on remote controlled insects/animals, but I didn't think that they'd actually managed to make a working version for roaches. This is kinda cool, really.

Boudica:
Can we stop torturing bugs like children and work on curing AIDS or something?

Shockingly enough, Electrical Engineers aren't that great at the whole 'Curing of diseases' thing. Even more shocking though, is that despite the Electrical Engineers 'torturing bugs', the Medical Researchers, Pharmacologists and Virologists working on AIDS cures are completely unaffected.

The beautiful thing about having a fuck-ton of scientists working on many projects at once is that one group can 'like children' while the other groups do... whatever the fuck it is they want to do.

Thank you for missing the point and taking my comment literally. It was funny.

But seriously, I'm sure this is indeed the best way for them to spend time and money. Torturing insects is hella awesome.

Thank you for missing the subtlety of my post. It's causing me great mirth too. :D

But seriously, this is actually amazing - they've already said something about helping find people trapped by Earthquakes with this, and utilizing the cockroaches Archeologists could probably get around to finally fully exploring the Egyptian Pyramids they've been dying to do for a few years, but couldn't as current cameras are too bulky, slow or threaten to damage the structure with their movements.

Meanwhile, the Torturing insects point of yours... isn't really that big a point. The Cockroaches don't feel pain in the same way that people do (instead of a central nervous system, they have nerve endings on the outside of their carapace that are photosensitive - why they run away when you turn on the lights. Internal pain doesn't register due to... well, lacking a central nervous system); and, had you read the source article, you would have noticed that the process doesn't actually cause the Cockroach any pain; rather, the system plays a 'trick' on the cockroach, directing it's own natural functions (flee from predator response, which is just an organ that registers air movement around the cockroach) and the 'reins' of the cockroach mimic the pulses the roaches own antenna generate when it touches a solid object. It's not Torture, more a simple deception - once the machine is turned off, the Cockroach returns to normal, no mental scarring or crippling injuries whatsoever.

And, before anyone jumps in with the whole 'I wouldn't want to be in that position', I'd just like to point out - Cockroach brains are completely different to human brains in structure; while studies on whether or not they are Conscious have so far been inconclusive, the odds of them having similar emotions or states of mind equivalent to a complex being are astronomical. Hell, the reason this experiment probably worked so well is due to the Cockroach being a) unable to perceive what was going on and b) the fact that they were playing on it's instinctual reactions, which drive everything Cockroaches do.

chadachada123:

Boudica:

chadachada123:

Which claims, exactly, do you want proof for?

After searching for a bit, it appears that I had originally only read articles arguing that lobsters do not feel pain, and thought this to be the case. Apparently, according to Wikipedia at least, the question is "unresolved." I can admit that the data for lobsters is inconclusive.

Regarding MOST invertebrates, though:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/372/lega/witn/shelly-e.htm

According to this official Canadian report, most invertebrates most likely do not feel pain, with the inclusion of pain receptors meaning nothing since they don't have the brain power necessary to *feel* pain, even if they react to stimuli in a negative manner.

The main reason that I assert that most invertebrates can't feel pain is that they lack the neocortex that mammals have to feel pain, and we currently do not have any models for pain reception that don't include them, to my knowledge.

Could cockroaches feel pain? Yes, if a method for feeling pain without a neocortex exists. Is such a method understood? Not as far as I know, no.

So, as I said, I'll carry on not enjoying the torture of animals because "well, they might not feel like us" doesn't cut it.

And I'll carry on supporting saving human lives as long as it isn't likely to cause pain to animals.

Quit bullshitting, too, it's not "well they might not feel like us," it's "we have no evidence that they feel like us." They are not equivalent, as anyone that actually understands the scientific method would know.

Yeah, no. Torture isn't my thing. I'll carry on not using animals like tools to be bent to our will. You... do whatever it is you do.

Boudica:

chadachada123:

And I'll carry on supporting saving human lives as long as it isn't likely to cause pain to animals.

Quit bullshitting, too, it's not "well they might not feel like us," it's "we have no evidence that they feel like us." They are not equivalent, as anyone that actually understands the scientific method would know.

Yeah, no. Torture isn't my thing. I'll carry on not using animals like tools to be bent to our will. You... do whatever it is you do.

Saving human life. That is both what I support, what my current job entails (lifeguard), and what my future career will entail (obstetrician/gynecologist). That...is what I do.

chadachada123:

Boudica:

chadachada123:

And I'll carry on supporting saving human lives as long as it isn't likely to cause pain to animals.

Quit bullshitting, too, it's not "well they might not feel like us," it's "we have no evidence that they feel like us." They are not equivalent, as anyone that actually understands the scientific method would know.

Yeah, no. Torture isn't my thing. I'll carry on not using animals like tools to be bent to our will. You... do whatever it is you do.

Saving human life. That is both what I support, what my current job entails (lifeguard), and what my future career will entail (obstetrician/gynecologist). That...is what I do.

Well you care about one form of life. It's a start!

Boudica:

chadachada123:

Boudica:
Yeah, no. Torture isn't my thing. I'll carry on not using animals like tools to be bent to our will. You... do whatever it is you do.

Saving human life. That is both what I support, what my current job entails (lifeguard), and what my future career will entail (obstetrician/gynecologist). That...is what I do.

Well you care about one form of life. It's a start!

Wait. Stop. Your coming across as someone with a real 'Holier then thou' attitude in regards to morality there. That is a road you really don't want to take. Seriously.

Boudica:
Yeah, no. Torture isn't my thing. I'll carry on not using animals like tools to be bent to our will. You... do whatever it is you do.

Wait what?

I'll carry on not using animals like tools to be bent to our will.

You mean... like horses? Or cows? Or sheep? Or pigs? Or dogs? Or any domesticated animal whose entire purpose for domestication was to be used as a tool to be bent to our will, and is in part the reason we're here today?

Just because you say it's torture doesn't mean it is, sweetheart. Quit being so ignorant of the world around you and try giving people smarter than you the benefit of the doubt.

the December King:
Hmmm. I don't want to take away from this experiment's findings, but perhaps if the roaches could also be monitored somehow for their general health... I know this is going to sound pathetic, but the thought of running them to death so we can know stuff kinda makes me sad.

Lol, this post actually made me laugh out loud.

I kill cockroaches when I get the pest control guy out to spray my house, I also step on them every time I come across one.

Making them work for us is a step up.

P.S they are not animals, they are under animals

poiumty:

Boudica:
Yeah, no. Torture isn't my thing. I'll carry on not using animals like tools to be bent to our will. You... do whatever it is you do.

Wait what?

I'll carry on not using animals like tools to be bent to our will.

You mean... like horses? Or cows? Or sheep? Or pigs? Or dogs? Or any domesticated animal whose entire purpose for domestication was to be used as a tool to be bent to our will, and is in part the reason we're here today?

Just because you say it's torture doesn't mean it is, sweetheart. Quit being so ignorant of the world around you and try giving people smarter than you the benefit of the doubt.

Please show me where I said I support using cows or sheep or any other animal as a tool. I eagerly await such evidence.

Boudica:
Please show me where I said I support using cows or sheep or any other animal as a tool. I eagerly await such evidence.

Then what you're saying has no bearing on reality, does it. You acknowledge such things are needed and normal for modern human society.

poiumty:
You acknowledge such things are needed and normal for modern human society.

Show me where I said that.

Stop making assumptions. You're bad at it.

Boudica:

chadachada123:

Saving human life. That is both what I support, what my current job entails (lifeguard), and what my future career will entail (obstetrician/gynecologist). That...is what I do.

Well you care about one form of life. It's a start!

...Alright, you win this round for making me smirk at that comeback.

the_green_dragon:

Lol, this post actually made me laugh out loud.

I kill cockroaches when I get the pest control guy out to spray my house, I also step on them every time I come across one.

Making them work for us is a step up.

P.S they are not animals, they are under animals

I remember once getting in a really short argument with someone about whether mosquitoes were animals or not, totally forgetting that animals as a technical classification include both invertebrates (insects, octopi, arachnids, etc) and vertebrates (mammals, etc).

But as far as colloquialisms go, yeah, cockroaches are beneath animals to me, and comparable to mosquitoes in pure loathing.

Boudica:

poiumty:
You acknowledge such things are needed and normal for modern human society.

Show me where I said that.

Stop making assumptions. You're bad at it.

You didn't say that, it was just a logical conclusion. We wouldn't be where we are today if it wasn't for things like this. So is what you said just a facetious off-topic remark, or do you truly believe in unrealistic ideals like this?

poiumty:

Boudica:

poiumty:
You acknowledge such things are needed and normal for modern human society.

Show me where I said that.

Stop making assumptions. You're bad at it.

You didn't say that, it was just a logical conclusion. We wouldn't be where we are today if it wasn't for things like this. So is what you said just a facetious off-topic remark, or do you truly believe in unrealistic ideals like this?

You made an assumption and now you're trying to tell me what I should or shouldn't think so as to align with said assumption. Sorry, no. You don't get to pull things out of the air and then apply them to people and you don't get to force anything from me with arrogance.

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