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Cockroach Cyborgs: Can They Really Aid Tough Rescue Operations? NCSU Researchers Think So

Nov 20, 2014 02:04 AM EST | By Adelyn Torralba
Cockroach Cyborgs, Cockroach Cyborgs News, Cockroach Cyborgs Latest News, Cockroach Cyborgs Biobot, Biobot, Biobot News, Biobot Latest News, Biobot Update, Biobot Latest Update

Climate change has been a worldwide concern, especially after the strongest typhoon ever recorded killed thousands of lives and high magnitude earthquakes have struck numerous countries. To aid the crucial rescue operations during disasters, North Carolina State University (NCSU) has developed cyborg cockroaches.

These new Biobots are cyborgs that can pick up sounds through its small microphones. After it captured sound, Cockroack cyborgs will then look for where the sound is coming. Through this way, rescue personnel can locate potential survivors of a disaster.

NCSU assistant professor, Dr. Alper Bozkurt said, "In a collapsed building, sound is the best way to find survivors." Bozkurt, an electrical and computer engineering at NC State educator, is one of the main man of the research and also a senior author of two papers on the work.

To confine the cockroach cyborgs in the wreaked havoc site, researchers were able to create an "invisible fence." The new Biobot, which can potentially be a huge help in rescue operations, can be controlled through its electronic backpack.

Bozkurt together with the rest of the researchers, were able to create two variations of cockroach cyborgs. First is the Biobot with a single microphone "that can capture relatively high-resolution sound from any direction to be wirelessly transmitted to first responders."

The second type of the recently made cyborg is the type which has "an array of three directional microphones to detect the direction of the sound." Bozkurt explains, "The goal is to use the biobots with high-resolution microphones to differentiate between sounds that matter - like people calling for help - from sounds that don't matter - like a leaking pipe."

NCSU researchers will be able to pinpoint the origin of the sound through algorithms. After locating the sound source, researchers can now finally move the Biobot towards the sound's origin. "Once we've identified sounds that matter, we can use the biobots equipped with microphone arrays to zero in on where those sounds are coming from," he said.

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