- Cyborg bees created to find weapons of mass destruction
- Electronics attached to insects during metamorphosis
- Insects will be sent to perform microbotic missions
US scientists are training “cyborg” bees to locate mines and weapons of mass destruction.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing technology to control the insects by attaching electronics to them during the early stages of metamorphosis.
The insects will be controlled by the Hybrid Insect Micro Electromechanical Systems (HI-MEMS), attached to the muscle or neural systems.
The HI-MEMS will run off the insect’s own body cells, enabling then be sent off to perform “microbotic missions”.
“The basic technology developed in this program will also serve as a biological tool to understand and control insect development, opening vistas in our understanding of tissue development and providing new technological pathways to harness the natural sensors and power generation of insects,” the website says.
While olfactory training of bees has been used in the past, the program aims to control the insects more effectively.
Researchers were able to transform the way the insects creates fuel into electrical energy by implanting an electrode.
“It takes chemicals that the insect produces when it feeds itself,” Case Western Reserve University chemist Daniel Scherson said.
“We’re using these chemicals as fuel to convert chemical energy into electrical energy.”