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Directed Locomotion in Cockroaches: Biobots

Acta Entomologica Slovenica,6(2):71–78, December 1998

Thomas E. Moore, Selden B. Crary, Daniel E. Koditschek, and Todd A. Conklin
University of Michigan
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Abstract
      We have been able to steer 10–20% of the Madagascan hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa) tested with minimally invasive low-power electrical stimuli to the basal regions of either their antennae or cerci, directing them to follow prescribed courses and even to collect “samples” and return them to the point of origin. Some of the demonstrations have been documented videographically and the efficacy of the techniques has been established by repetition in other laboratories by William Schwind, University of Michigan, and by Prof. I. Shimoyama, University of Tokyo, Japan. Our demonstration establishes the capability of using the locomotor power of these living “robots” (biobots) to carry existing experimental sensory and communicative devices to and from areas difficult or dangerous for human activity. Further prospects for eliminating tethering stimulus-wire cables, and satellite radio communications from any location in the world, may open unparalleled upportunites for monitoring natural phenomena, including synchronized neural, muscular, and skeletal interactions during untethered behavior in nature.
BibTeX entry
@inproceedings{Moore-AES-1998,
  author       = "Thomas E. Moore, Selden B. Crary, Daniel E. Koditschek, and Todd A. Conklin"
  title        = "Directed Locomotion in Cockroaches: Biobots"
  booktitle    = "Acta Entomologica Slovenica"
  volume       = "6"
  pages        = "71-78"
  year         = "1998"
}

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