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Friday, March 20, 2009

Zombie Bugs

U.S. scientists have created a remote control flying rhinoceros beetle. "They look cool, according to the university [scientists]," who are funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, aka, the military.

They were surely building on previous Japanese work which lead to remote control cockroaches. "They look nicer," report the scientists, "when you put a little circuit on their backs and remove their wings."

Need we consider how utterly horrifying it must be to have each step controlled, click by click, by a leering group of giants who titter over plucking off your limbs? STEP! Oh god no! STEP! My god the edge of the table! STEP! AGGHHHRRR!

A clever Google Earth science project has already shown that cows can be controlled by magnets, and work has begun on monkeys.

Next step? Humans. We've been trying since Pavlov. Or did we already succeed?


____________________
Previously on Laws of Silence:
* Nazi Space Aliens Want our Senior Citizens

3 comments:

  1. Wow. Small-scale robotics for kids and inquisitive youth. The future is now.

    That hummingbird is especially impressive from an aerodynamic pov. How's it stay aloft?

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  2. Apparently the roach robots imitate something wasps have been doing for awhile.

    As far as I can tell, the robot hummingbirds mimic the real thing: tiny wings oscillate in a figure-eight; the angle of the wings are adjusted throughout the figure-eight motion to modify the direction of the thrust. That's why they can hover; the figure-eight allows the wings to move in opposition with each other from a horizontal perspective (both moving in toward the bird, and then both moving out away from the bird, and so on). And that motion is repeated: going forward there's a pull in and a thrust out; same thing going back. By adjusting the angles of their wings, its almost like two helicopter props on the side of the bird/robot, with the counter movements (both in or both out) acting to stabilize or lean.

    Now that's not based on anything I've read or actually figured out in some tradition sense of the phrase "figgered out", mind you; its just based on what I see and guess when I watch robots compared to slo-mo hummingbirds. So I prolly wrong. But you asked and so I ...

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