Cyborg Moth Set To Spy On Enemy Territories
A remote controlled moth will fly into action as a spy over enemy territories
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are always pushing the boundaries; continuing to develop Defensive Technology, and their latest invention is no exception.
Darpa Creates Cyborg Moth
At some point in the not too distant future, a moth implanted with a computer chip will take flight into enemy territories in hope to spy and transmit a video feed as well as other information back to base. The computer chip implanted whilst the creature is still a pupa, in the cocoon, enables the moth’s entire nervous system to be controlled remotely. The moth will thus be capable of landing in the camp without arousing suspicion, all the while transmitting information back to its masters via what its developers refer to as a “reliable tissue-machine interface.” More importantly however, this Cyborg Moth will help bring down terrorist and thwart future terrorism plots.
Rod Brooks, director of the computer science and artificial intelligence lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which is involved with the research said,
“This is going to happen, it’s not science like developing the nuclear bomb, which costs billions of dollars. It can be done relatively cheaply.”
Although a few experiments have been done over the past couple of years in which other animals, such as rats and cockroaches, have been operated on and driven by joysticks, this is the very first time where the chip has been injected in the pupa stage and “grown” inside it.
The DoD has said it wants one third of all missions to be unmanned by 2015, and though a Cyborg moth my raise some moral issues perhaps it is time to consider updating treaties like the Geneva Convention to include clauses which regulate the use of such technologies.
The remote controlled moths otherwise known as Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, or MEMS, are one of a number of technologies soon to be deployed in combat zones.
Another robot developed as part of the US Military Future Combat Systems program was a small, unmanned vehicle known as a SUGV (pronounced sug-vee) which could be dispatched in front of troops to gauge the threat in an urban environment, Mr Brooks said.
The 13.6kg device, which measures less than a metre squared and can survive a drop of 10m onto concrete, has a small “head” with infra-red and regular cameras which send information back to a command unit, as well as an audio-sensing feature called “Red Owl” which can determine the direction from which enemy fire originates.
“It is designed to be the troop’s eyes and ears and, unlike one of its predecessors, this one can swim, too,” Mr Brooks said.
If un-manned robots are used to discover territories man may not easily venture to, such as the deep sea, volcanoes and even planets, should there be boundaries in where this technology stops?
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