Bionic Hero-Cockroaches Might Become First Responders in Natural Disasters

Illustration for article titled Bionic Hero-Cockroaches Might Become First Responders in Natural Disasters

Researchers working on "the next big thing in disaster response" have figured out how to put a tiny backpack on a cockroach and then remote-control it through collapsed buildings to locate survivors. The roach can be equipped with a small video camera or a microphone, which can then transmit information to human responders.

"We are interested in finding people after the earthquakes, under the building," Bozkurt said. "The first sensor one can envision could be tiny microphones to listen to the help calls."

The advantage of using the tiny creatures lies in both their size – they are smaller than humans and dogs – and their strength.

..."It's a huge mess and somewhere in the middle your kid is crying, asking for help and you want to help them as soon as possible," Bozkurt said. "So the only help would come from huge machines which dig through the rubble and it's not very efficient.

"So we're trying to make this process more efficient."

I'm sure some strident activists will find a way to become outraged about cockroach rights—the researchers refer to the roaches as "beasts of burden" like other domesticated animals—but if a bionic cockroach crawling on my face can help me (or my baby) get rescued from underneath a mountain of steel and bricks, I'm into it.


As far as I can tell, the pros far outweigh the cons:


1. The cockroach is wearing a backpack!

2. Not trapped under rubble anymore.

3. A third reason is not necessary.


1. The cockroach is not wearing a backwards baseball cap and also skateboarding while playing the saxophone.

2. The cockroach might walk on your face.

3. ???????????

So bring on the disaster cockroaches, says I. Get on my face, little bros! GET ON MY FACE AND SAVE ME.

Earthquake First Responders: Cockroaches [ABC]



I've never understood why so many people seem to think that cockroaches are the worst type of insect you can encounter. I'd rather have to kill a cockroach than, say, one of those enormous centipedes that dwell in my basement.