A team of scientists from Tel Aviv University succeeded in giving a robot the ability to hear sounds using the ear of a dead locust.
What? Seriously. A college press release highlighting the team’s work read this:
Researchers at Tel Aviv University report that they have successfully connected the ear of a dead locust to a robot that receives electrical signals from the ear and reacts accordingly. The result is extraordinary: when the researchers clap once, the locust’s ear hears the sound and the robot moves forward; when the researchers clap twice, the robot backs up.
How it works? It’s actually quite simple. Researchers use the dead locust’s ear in exactly the same way they would typically use a microphone. Instead of wiring a man-made electronic device, the team just wire Mother Nature’s work the same way.
According to team leader Ben Maoz:
Prof. Yovel’s lab built the robot and developed code that allows the robot to respond to electrical auditory signals. And my lab has developed a special device – Ear-on-a-Chip – that keeps the ear alive throughout the experiment by providing oxygen and nourishment to the organ, while allowing electrical signals to be removed from the locust’s ear. and amplified and transmitted to the robot.
Quick setting: It’s pretty awesome. We’ve seen scientists create weird and wonderful cyborgs by combining insect biology and robotics. Just check out this 2017 article on a team of researchers who developed a method to remotely control living dragonflies like drones.
But this new research on cyborg locusts is amazing in itself because, rather than controlling the motor functions of a living creature, it shows how AI can harvest existing biological technology in a piecemeal fashion to create a functioning machine at the same time. menu.
Necromancy? In this economy ?? In fact, it’s hard to imagine a more cost-effective way to build an army of robots than to design inexpensive systems that could, for example, be parachuted into a given geographic location with the ability to retrieve their own body parts. How terrifying is that?
You can read the entire document here.
Published March 3, 2021 – 17:41 UTC