Sunday, 9 November 2014

Creepy Cockroaches Could Be Search And Rescue Heroes

John Hopton for – Your Universe Online

Researchers from North Carolina State University (NCSU) have found a way to turn cockroaches into cyborgs and have them assist in search and rescue operations after major disasters. By wearing special backpacks, the “biobots” can detect and locate sound, as well as differentiating between important and unimportant sounds.

The scientists came up with two innovations, both of which involve electronic backpacks which are equipped with microphones. One has a single microphone that can capture relatively high-resolution sound from any direction which can then be wirelessly transmitted to first responders. The other involves an array of three-directional microphones which can detect the direction of the sound. The team also developed algorithms that can analyze sound from the microphone array to focus the source and steer the biobot in the right direction.

The microphone array system worked successfully in laboratory testing, as shown in a video below.

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