Cyborg Roaches Advance Science


Photographs of Blaberus discoidalis (A), the transmitter circuit (B) and of a quarter coin (C) to compare the scales involved.

While browsing through the vast array of Open Access articles that ECS hosts in its Digital Library, one title in particular caught our eye here at headquarters.

I mean, it is pretty hard to ignore an academic article titled “Wireless Communication by an Autonomous Self-Powered Cyborg Insect.

The article, published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society by researchers from Case Western Reserve University (one of the authors is ECS Board of Directors Senior VP Dan Scherson), details – to put it simply – how a cyborg cockroach can generate and transmit signals wirelessly.

The researchers state that a trehalose/oxygen biofuel cell was implanted in the roach in order to convert the chemical energy stored within the insect’s hemolymph into electrical energy.

The energy generated was then used to power a custom-designed oscillator that was mounted on the roach’s back, which is capable of producing signals in the audible range.

Oh, and they provided this amazing video of the whole thing …

Make sure to keep checking out the articles published in our journals – especially the Open Access publications – so you can keep up with the interesting (and entertaining) world of academic peer-reviewed research.

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