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Drones and Biobots to the Rescue

Wired cyborg cockroaches could help to save lives after a natural disaster.

Wired cyborg cockroaches could help to save lives after a natural disaster.

Researchers at NC State have developed a combination of software and hardware that will allow them to use unmanned aerial vehicles and insect cyborgs, or biobots, to map large, unfamiliar areas— such as collapsed buildings after a disaster.

“The idea would be to release a swarm of sensor-equipped biobots—such as remotely controlled cockroaches—into a collapsed building or other dangerous, unmapped area,” says Edgar Lobaton, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and co-author of two papers describing the work.

The biobots would be allowed to move freely within a defined area and would signal researchers via radio waves whenever they got close to each other. Custom software would then use an algorithm to translate the biobot sensor data into a rough map of the unknown environment.

This article was originally published by NC State News.