Spies may soon be bugging conversations using actual insects, thanks to research funded by the US military.
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has spent years developing a whole host of cyborg critters, in the hopes of creating the ultimate ‘fly on the wall’.
Now a team of researchers led by Hirotaka Sato have created cyborg beetles which are guided wirelessly via a laptop.
The embedded system uses nerve and muscle stimulators, a microbattery and a microcontroller with transceiver.
They were implanted in the beetles when they were at the pupal stage.
Three types of large beetles from Cameroon were used in the experiments at the University of California in Berkeley. The smallest was 2cm long, while the largest was 20cm.