back to article DARPA to create brain-chipped cyborg moths

Famed US military mad-scientist bureau DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is engaged in an effort to grow/build cyborg moths for use as spies. No, really. The program is called Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, or HI-MEMS. In it, the arguably over-caffeined DARPA boffins aim to construct a …


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  1. Keith Doyle

    Gives a whole new meaning...

    to wanting to be a "fly on the wall." Or Big Brother, for that matter. Before long, you actually can send your own fly to be on that wall. And anyone could play that game. What you want to bet that before long, a US Presidential administration's paranoia will have it furiously bug-zapping and Raid-spraying everything in sight just in case a foreign power or opposing party has started using their bug army to keep an eye on them? How about a pissed-off populace? anyone? I can hardly wait to look under some of those rocks in Washington...

  2. Jim


    Will the cybermoths self destruct if you throw gold dust on them? So now they're upgrading moths. How long before people are upgraded? How long before they create homicidal pepper pots?

    It's sad that someone needs to explain to these guys that Doctor Who is not real. Come on - a guy who lives in a big box with totally hot babes and there's no rumpy pumpy going on. That can't be real.

  3. Graham Marsden


    "M'lud, the defendant is accused of being a terrorist because he was sighted at the supermarket purchasing large quantities of fly paper..."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    moths or people?

    If you had to explore an al Qaida cave, Which would you rather send into the cave first?

    The robots are coming, for better or worse, primarily as a cost saving measure. 1 low-level grunt costs 300,000$ US to train and then you have to buy him/her gear. Once mass produced, a moth will cost maybe 1000$. So, I ask, which do you send into the ambush?

    (Yes, not fighting would be nice -- but this is the earth.)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about You?

    Another masterpiece this cybinsect.

    Lets sit down on our back, turn tv on and watch next war(sorry - agenda). Moths will do recon, unmanned planes spread insect with plagues.


    "Hey, I'm a brave man. May I help you? I'm online with my gamebox. I can control some usefull killmachine.

    OK, I'm ready. Wait, wait, wait, a second please ... mmmm last hamb, gurgle my cola, ... aaand go.

    Yes, yes, great. You got it. It was excellent, they felt down like a leafs.

    WOW, good OS my machine has. Today it was not so bad. But I need more hambs and cola and bigger couch, I must upgrade my connection, my gamebox, my car, my house ..." "Yes, we all have to."

    "And what about you? Are you going with us to conquest next territory? You have only two choices."

    "Your are with us, or against us."

  6. Brett Weaver

    To modify the old joke...

    What do you have when you have a moth ball in your right hand and a moth ball in your left hand?

    A moth big enough run Vista!

  7. Charlie Fisher

    Moth countermeasures

    If one of these moths is sent into a dark cave, all you need to defeat it is a candle or one of those insect-o-cutor thingies. RAID or any commercial bug spray will also work. What about those electronic insect repellers, or the simple old DEET insect repellent?

    Seems daft to send in a thousand dollar insect when a 2 dollar can of insect spray will neutralise it.

  8. Sam

    Missing the point

    "For example we have used horses and _elephants_"

    Cyberphants > Cybinsects

  9. Michael Corkery


    How? And still be able to fly? There's be no explosive or projectile I can think of that a moth could carry. At best poison, or a gaseous release. tricky...

  10. Paul Buxton


    Explosives, projectiles, poison, gas - forget it.

    Biological weapons, viruses, deadly bacteria, genetically engineered human cordyceps fungus etc. Ok, I know bio weaponry is banned under pretty much all weapons treaties but under the guise of "a tool to help win the war on terror" I'm sure your average American could justify it.

  11. Paul Buxton


    ...and if they were to put a warhead in one of these moths, would that constitute a biological weapon? We need definitions.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    40 years ago...

    This project was foretold with remarkable accuracy by Charles Harness in his short story "Bugs" appearing in the "Fanatasy and Science Fiction" magazine of August '67.

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