Autonomous Cyborg: Kinect Controlled Hovering Roaches to Change US History [Video]
Scientists have built autonomous cyborg cockroaches and used Xbox Kinect to guide their piloting along a set path.
Scientists at North Carolina State University are channeling the power of motion-based gaming technology (here, with the help of Microsoft's Kinect), to control cyborg cockroaches on autopilot that could actually help save lives.
Previously, steering a cyborg had been done with manual remote controls. Now, the Kinect, the motion-sensing system that allows people to play Xbox games without a controller, allows the roaches to be guided along the path without human control.
Dr. Alper Bozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at North Carolina State University and the co-author of a paper on the Kinect-roaches said:
"Our goal is to be able to guide these roaches as efficiently as possible, and our work with Kinect is helping us do that. We want to build on this program, incorporating mapping and radio frequency techniques that will allow us to use a small group of cockroaches to explore and map disaster sites. The autopilot program would control the roaches, sending them on the most efficient routes to provide rescuers with a comprehensive view of the situation."
In the near future, scientists will equip these autonomous roaches with tiny microphones and speakers allowing rescue workers to communicate with victims of a disaster they may not be able to reach.