Researchers Remotely Control Cockroaches With Electronic Backpack

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My brain has two responses to this.

1. With a little more work to make the backpack less noticeable, these could be used for surveillance as well. Dun. Dun. Duh duh dun. Dun. Duh duh dun. Dun...

2. Aaaaaaand the animal rights extremists are going to have a FIELD DAY with this.

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

These researchers aren't medical doctors they're biologists. They've spent years of their life studying to do things like this.

The moment we start valuing the lives of cockroaches over those of humans is the moment I say feck off to anyone who's trying to argue in favor of it.

Cockroaches are despicable insects that only exist where there is filth and decay, they carry diseases that make us and other animals sick.

When you squash a cockroach you carry its eggs and you spread more of these insects into the world.

My personal opinion is that valuing the life of a cockroach over that of a human is just perverse and quite dangerous, for valuing the life of a cockroach more means that all humans can be damned for your part and that makes you a menace to society.

In the process of reading this article and all the posts in this thread I have killed a cockroach, So yeah no problem with this at all.

Now I can't wait for the other creations that can be found in the movie "Fifth Element". Just never thought the Cockroach spy bug was ever going to be invented.

Am I the only one that had this pop into my head:

"We are the borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."

I'm conflicted between my hatred of roaches and my excitement for science.

I think it's an idea that has great chance for helping society. Little fellows who can get into disasters or moniter a sticky situation.

On the other side, I hate the fear technique. Obsticals I can see why, but fear? Maybe filtering smells for temptation? Smells like food? sparking curiosity? I imagine there's a way to do it.

Oh, and all you people who say bugs can't feel, fear, hunger, or care? It makes me feel very sad to hear this. I have kept bugs as pets. I had a well trained spider that did tricks, was terrified by the sound of crickets, and 'wagged' its legs in the air when it had it's big bum petted.

I've had hermit crabs (land and ocean) that fought for dominance, some that would be adorably shy, and others that would bully and devour. Same with shrimp and other exo-skeleton based life. There are also many bugs that would die before their babies do.

Fear, reproduction, hunger, pain, and satisfaction are all parts of just being alive regardless of how strong of a degree something interprets it. It's all apart of eat or be eatten.

It doesn't matter what teeny tiny organic being this is used for. Let's find a way to use this discovery both for science and do it with a little less fear.

Considering that nature creates way more effective "machines" until robotics get a lot more advanced, this is the right direction to go.

And to you folks who are crying about animal cruelty, I suggest you never EVER try to find out what scientist had to do, and continue to do, to laboratory rats to find cures for diseases. (You know, animals that are studied to be advanced enough to exhibit social attributes such as altruism)

And really? Animal cruelty? Oh dear god people, I hope you have no plans of procreating.

The cockroach hate is strong in this thread.

Cockroaches are some of the most clean helpful little critters ever. Your kitchen bench is more dirty than your average cockroach, seriously. Not only that, they helped prevent the spread of disease and infection back in olden times because they clean EVERYTHING. It's like Cracked said, Cockroaches just have a really bad PR team, all they need is some Pixar movie to convince us how loveable and helpful they really are.

BiasedVeracity:
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.

Fear is to strong a word, cockroaches do not have enough of a nervous system or cognitive capability to feel fear. They do not have any emotions at all, the scientists are simply using an instinctual response.

I am a life long supporter of animal rights but claiming these experiments are morally wrong because the cockroaches "have feelings" sounds like the kind of crap PETA in America come up with. Do you think the cockroaches should have voting rights too?

Maybe I've missed it... But just in case: "Cocroackes - WITH FREAKING LASER BEAMS!".

There.

I understand there is a way to do research on animals, but take fish for instance. Not many people to defend their individual rights. And fruit flies/jellyfish/and those plant-like thingies-that-are-in-fact-animals-at-the-bottom-of-the-sea... Well I'm a meat eater, and I long ago made peace with the fact that an UNatural venomous flying shark (spawned from a very NATURAL scientist's mind) will one day feast on me.

I firmly believe that humans are king (and queens ;p) of this earth. And we should act accordingly.

Else we might be overthrown.

whilst this is pretty cool technology, i cant help but feel that we humans are really going too far with the subjugation of animals
killing them outright because they spread disease or corrupt crops ect is fair play, that's survival of the fittest but actively terrorising an animal into doing what you want by messing with it's brain really crosses the line imo
i mean, you've essentially blinded it and forced it to navigate by feel, and what does it get out of this deal?
i'm honestly on the fence as to the morality of this experiment
small robots may be expensive and hard to build, but let's be honest they last forever with the right care and you don't need to hurt anything to do it so it has to pay off in the end

I want billions of these, then I'll take over the world with my cockroach army!!

NotALiberal:
The cockroach hate is strong in this thread.

Cockroaches are some of the most clean helpful little critters ever. Your kitchen bench is more dirty than your average cockroach, seriously. Not only that, they helped prevent the spread of disease and infection back in olden times because they clean EVERYTHING. It's like Cracked said, Cockroaches just have a really bad PR team, all they need is some Pixar movie to convince us how loveable and helpful they really are.

Their spazzy fucked up movements and overall gross look scare the shit out of me. It's not an issue of whether they're dirty but some people like me have straight up phobias of the things.

Boudica:

MidnightSt:

Boudica:
-_-

Yeah, not so much. Not so much at all.

Unless you consider fear a synonym for happy and predator and barrier synonyms for longing.

oh, okay. Half a year ago I've watched presentation from TED about similar technology that used the stimuli I wrote about. I guess there's many ways to achieve the same thing. And yes, I should've read the OP before assuming it was the same as the one I knew about.

(captcha: way to go donny!) :-D

That would be both scary and awesome if your name is Donny or Donald or something.

the moment machines evolve to the point of knowing my name without me entering it anywhere on the site, it would be mostly scary. this way, it's only awesome and funny.

(captcha: you're welcome
NOW it's getting a little scary)

doggie015:
Am I the only one that had this pop into my head:

"We are the borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."

""You belong to us. You shall...be like us."

All I see is death, death and world domination by cockroaches.

remember what happened to the one in The Fifth Element...still get teared up at that part.

Oh, wow.

The Madagascar hissing cockroach pictured (Gromphadorhina Portentosa) is actually far from gross or unclean, quite the contrary is the case. They like it clean and they're pretty much the ultimate hippie jumbo roach.

They display quite some social interaction, going from non-lethal competitive battling of the males to dominant butt-lifting and the sheer fact that the females let the babies hatch inside their bodies to protect them better easily boggles the mind. How did they come up with that one? Here's me eggs, lads, get some spunk on'em. T'a. Babies... coming up soon now.

It's one of the more amazing organisms around, really.

Plus, you can feed them all your veggie kitchen scraps, and they'll gladly eat dog food or pick any and all bones clean you throw at them... and they're generally very thorough when it involves eating. A good breeding stock will easily replace or at the very least improve your compost heap.

Their poop can be used to inoculate soil and keep your plants happy and healthy.

They might not lug big brains around like we do, but they deserve our respect. It is highly unlikely our species will make it as long as they already did up to... now.

Oh, and they are very pleasant and quite amusing pets. And if you don't like the idea of them being pets, you can still feed them to a wide range of animals with no mess, no smell, no drama.

M-E-D The Poet:
The moment we start valuing the lives of cockroaches over those of humans is the moment I say feck off to anyone who's trying to argue in favor of it.

Cockroaches are despicable insects that only exist where there is filth and decay, they carry diseases that make us and other animals sick.

When you squash a cockroach you carry its eggs and you spread more of these insects into the world.

My personal opinion is that valuing the life of a cockroach over that of a human is just perverse and quite dangerous, for valuing the life of a cockroach more means that all humans can be damned for your part and that makes you a menace to society.

Hey, look! Full quote!

This is just to let you know that, sorry, you got it all wrong. I really mean all wrong.

Yo! WT?

Roaches are adorable and very, very cleanly. Most roaches aren't happy with filthy people around. If anything, most roach species actually do their best to clean up after super filthy humans.

When you squash a (cock)roach you kill it. Their eggs aren't magical.

(cock)Roaches have been around for at least 350 million years. When the first dinosaurs popped up, roaches have already been at it for an easy 150 million years... maybe even longer, who knows. They came up with the very concept of flight. They came up with what could easily be understood as pregnancy, instead of going for the rather retarded concept of pooping out eggs and let God sort'em out. There are at least 3'500 different roach species out there, and only about 2% of those are able and willing to put up with us filthy, smelly humans. Get your facts straight, thank you.

faefrost:
I am not sure I want to actually meet the NCSU Professor that dreamed up the "radio controlled cyborg cockroaches" project... or even worse the panel that approved funding for it? I mean really?

I can just imagine the professer's thoughts when he was making this thing:

"Today, I mind control cockroaches, tomorrow, the ENTIRE WORLD!!!"

Headdrivehardscrew:
Roaches are adorable and very, very cleanly.

No they are not, its a scientifically proven fact that they carry and spread pathogens like various food poisoning bacteria. Some of those bacteria can be lethal. There is also scientific evidence that shows cockroaches carrying antibiotic resistant bacteria like MRSA.

Bacteria can survive in cockroach feces for several years, long after the roach that left them there is dead or the infestation removed. Other research suggests that roaches might cause asthma or aggravate allergies, the cockroach's feces, saliva, eggs, and outer covering they leave behind cause the problem. They become a part of the every day household dust, once that happens people either breath them in or ingest them after the dust contaminates food or cutlery, cups and plates. Studies show that anywhere from 7.5% to 28% of people exposed to those materials develop allergies

J Tyran:

Headdrivehardscrew:
Roaches are adorable and very, very cleanly.

No they are not, its a scientifically proven fact that they carry and spread pathogens like various food poisoning bacteria. Some of those bacteria can be lethal. There is also scientific evidence that shows cockroaches carrying antibiotic resistant bacteria like MRSA.

Bacteria can survive in cockroach feces for several years, long after the roach that left them there is dead or the infestation removed. Other research suggests that roaches might cause asthma or aggravate allergies, the cockroach's feces, saliva, eggs, and outer covering they leave behind cause the problem. They become a part of the every day household dust, once that happens people either breath them in or ingest them after the dust contaminates food or cutlery, cups and plates. Studies show that anywhere from 7.5% to 28% of people exposed to those materials develop allergies

I think you and I, we're both guilty of generalizing a bit.

Thing is, we're talking of some 4500 species, only an approximate 30 of which actually don't seem to mind to mingle with humans, feed on rat feces and play poop games all day. For what it's worth, evolution had its ways by throwing us and our filthy ways in the mix, offering more opportunity and structures that favour creepy crawlies, making them take up bad habits and dropping any and all inhibitions and having a great impact on that five-brain-powered free will of theirs. It's mostly all about feeding, mating and procreating. The good life, y'know.

I won't delve much into 'scientifically proven facts', as for every study you could possibly bring up, I have at least one to counter it. Sad as it is, that's the state of science today.

Instead, have this:

Biologists at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, found dramatic variations in a cockroaches learning ability throughout the day. In the morning, the insects couldn't learn a new task, but in the evening, something kicked in.

"This is the first example of an insect whose ability to learn is controlled by its biological clock," Terry L. Page, professor of biological sciences, said on Friday.

"This study was a surprise from the beginning to the end --the fact that cockroaches could be trained, even though you would not generally say they are a high IQ creature, and the impact that their body clocks had on their ability to learn."

During the two-year study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers taught cockroaches to associate peppermint -- a scent that the critters normally dislike -- with sugar water so that they favored it over one of their favorite smells, vanilla.

Headdrivehardscrew:

J Tyran:

Headdrivehardscrew:
Roaches are adorable and very, very cleanly.

No they are not, its a scientifically proven fact that they carry and spread pathogens like various food poisoning bacteria. Some of those bacteria can be lethal. There is also scientific evidence that shows cockroaches carrying antibiotic resistant bacteria like MRSA.

Bacteria can survive in cockroach feces for several years, long after the roach that left them there is dead or the infestation removed. Other research suggests that roaches might cause asthma or aggravate allergies, the cockroach's feces, saliva, eggs, and outer covering they leave behind cause the problem. They become a part of the every day household dust, once that happens people either breath them in or ingest them after the dust contaminates food or cutlery, cups and plates. Studies show that anywhere from 7.5% to 28% of people exposed to those materials develop allergies

I think you and I, we're both guilty of generalizing a bit.

Thing is, we're talking of some 4500 species, only an approximate 30 of which actually don't seem to mind to mingle with humans, feed on rat feces and play poop games all day. For what it's worth, evolution had its ways by throwing us and our filthy ways in the mix, offering more opportunity and structures that favour creepy crawlies, making them take up bad habits and dropping any and all inhibitions and having a great impact on that five-brain-powered free will of theirs. It's mostly all about feeding, mating and procreating. The good life, y'know.

Both are generalizations for sure, you meant all roaches and I meant the ones most likely to infest homes. Those ones are pretty much the same as flies, they will eat or walk over almost anything and then spread the bacteria they pick up as a result.

The cockroach itself isn't inherently dirty its just that its living and eating habits put it contact with a lot of pathogens that are harmful to humans.

I'm not really sure there is much difference between this and breaking a horse. It's not as if the horse was designed to start and stop with a person on its back but there we were, poking the horse and pulling on the reins to control it.

now, if the device was directly jammed into their brains, maybe it's unethical?

They've actually been able to remote control cockroaches for years now. About 10 years ago I saw a documentary on this where they showed a cockroach attached over a ball with arrows on it so you could see the changes of direction.

Another thing they did more recently was give a cockroach an "exoskeleton" to give it more presence in a room xD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwZD59Ic9T8

I'm in no doubt that the secret services have pushed to get roaches with cameras etc.

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