7/02/2008

Spy Bugs: The Next Generation Of Surveillance?

The technology has been around for years to control animals’ movements by implanting electrodes into their brains. The concept is tried and true on things from rats to sharks. At one point it was proven that rats could be used to help on search and rescue missions by adding a backpack camera to the equation. Larger animals can handle heavier equipment, but if placed in a sensitive situation, they could beeasily detected. The Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking for a solution.


DARPA
is continuing to harness naturahttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.quote.gif
insert blockquotel animal motor skills in combination with artificial control systems, but is now looking into using smaller test subjects. The Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (HI-MEMS) project is how DARPA plans to achieve this. The premise is to take a small, ordinary organism and transform it into a robot of sorts. By using insects, DARPA hopes to be able to hold greater control over a final destination, while at the same time utilizing the insects’ natural fluid movements. The trick will be making control mechanisms and other equipment small and light enough for the insects to be able to handle them. The ability to guide the insects to a location with precision could allow them to accomplish tasks deemed too dangerous for humans. DARPA says on its web site that insects could be outfitted with sensors capable of transmitting information about air quality, or even devices to transmit sound. The insects could get close enough to a target to relay data otherwise unavailable. The proverbial “fly on the wall” might actually turn out to be a fly on the wall.
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