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Cyborg cockroach that is controlled by mind of student


It was only a few years ago when mind control was something that was talked about only in movies. However a student from China has now created a cyborg cockroach that he is able to control with his mind. Another student also designed a robot that is able to play rock, paper, and scissors.


[Image Courtesy of Shanghai Jiaotong University]

The student fitted the cockroach with a specially designed electronic backpack so that it would stimulate the antennae of the cockroach and this is controlled by an EEG headset. This meant that the student could use just his thoughts to control the insect when he wears the headset. He first guided the insect around a bend with an S shape and used brain patterns so that the insect was able to get around the zig-zags accurately.


[Image Courtesy of Shanghai Jiaotong University]

The headset worn by the student decodes the intended direction and sends information to the backpack worn by the cockroach and this allows it to be steered in the right direction. The insect can be controlled thanks to the cerci-sensory organs of the cockroach being wired to the backpack. The cockroaches sensory organs are able to tell when their abdomen is brushing up against something.


[Image Courtesy of Shanghai Jiaotong University]

While you might have thought that this amazing feat would gain the student first place in the 2015 IEEE RAS contest, it didn’t. In fact he came in second as a student from Turkey took first place with robots that could play the rock, paper and scissors game along with writing in lights and many other actions. Third place in the competition was taken by a researcher who designed a robot capable of copying a human and making a pizza.


[Image Courtesy of Shanghai Jiaotong University]

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