Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Singularity is near!

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And no, the NEMSSS seminar today did not involve giant Madagascar cockroaches. It did involve cybborrg beettles, complete with implanted chips inserted during pupal stage.

The chip talks to the remote control and stimulates muscles that pull on the exoskeleton that creates a mechanical resonance to flap the wings. With directional control by individual pulse train stimulation on left vs. right wing. The speaker was a former student of my PI. He was very energetic like a boy with his favorite toy.

He was also very eager to discuss the ethical issues about controlling beetles, etc. I think that he's only interested in it as an intellectual debate. N from my group thinks that if it were our PI, he would be more inclined toward the "don't hurt the beetles because it causes pain" side.

The study is basically funded by DARPA. Surprise surprise!

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