A remote-controlled bug-cyborgs may substitute the drones soon. The American and Singaporean engineers and authors of the article in the journal Royal Society Interface, showed the results of successful control of live insects.
These insects are controlled by special electrodes and backpacks with electronics on their backs.
The electrodes, attached to the limbs, visual brain lobes and bug's muscles, are activated by radio signals, and biorobots begin to move at a predetermined speed, blast off, land and even turn in the flight. It is not necessary for the operator to control their flight: the bugs can maintain a given rate independently, and a man must interfere only to change the route.
It is emphasized that the usage of alive "robots" can save on the equipment.
The authors of the article write: "In contrast to the" iron" robots which need hundreds of components, sensors and servo motors, hybrid systems, "cyber-bugs" use only living organisms - it is like a ready natural-made robot.”
Also, the cost of components of one biorobot doesn't exceed $ 7 million.
The experimental for engineers is a large chafer Mecynorrhina torquata (the weight is about 8 grams) - it can carry heavy loads: the microphone and temperature sensor. The mechanisms are attached to bugs with the help of harmless wax.
In the future, the researchers plan to go to the remote (wireless) control, as well as to change lithium batteries to the batteries, recharged by solar energy.