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America’s Child

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Ear to the Ground

Behold the Cyborg Spy Bugs of the Future

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Posted on Nov 24, 2011
Wikimedia Commons / Anaxibia (CC-BY-SA)

Note: These are not actual beetles used for research purposes.

As if our current surveillance society wasn’t creepy enough, the wave of the spying future may come on the backs of creepy-crawlies. No joke—in tiny “backpacks” or perhaps hitched around their wing muscles. Read it and get skeeved out.  —KA


The University of Michigan team of engineers published their study in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.

The report noted that, despite major advances in micro-air-vehicle technology, no-one had been able to match the aerodynamic performance and manoeuvring capability of insects.

However, it said that if insects were to be equipped with control mechanisms and other add-on kit, the equipment would require a power source.

The team rejected the idea of using miniature solar panels because they would be dependent on available light. So the group decided to develop a vibration energy collector.

The resulting device consists of a tiny three-layered spiral generator.

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By Upala, November 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I had an opportunity this pass summer to observe a black wasp leave its shell to preen ie:( clean) itself on the side walk right in front of me for about 20 minutes. Afterwards, it climbed back into its shell( I thought it was shedding it) an just took off into the air! This was a most amazing sight for me to see and I still wonder, Why me?

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By ribbie149, November 25, 2011 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

It seems that the movie BLADE RUNNER was prescient in
its portrayal of future surveillance techniques.  The
future is just arriving sooner that we anticipated.

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By TheEnd, November 24, 2011 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment

Search and rescue.  Of course. - TheEnd

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