Location: Los Angeles, California

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Cockroach Controlled Mobile Robot

Keeping with today's cockroach theme, someone has created a mechanism that uses a living Madagascan hissing cockroach and a modified trackball to control a three-wheeled robot. If the cockroach moves left, the robot moves left.

This seems like a bad idea. Cockroaches have been around for 350 million years. They can live without food for a month. They can survive headless for up to a week and can hold their breath for 45 minutes. Most impressive of all is their high resistance to radiation, which allows them to survive a thermonuclear explosion.

And now we're giving them the ability to control robots? Like in "2001: A Space Odyssey," we are giving the cockroaches the evolutionary monolith of tools. Bad move.


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