Animal brains are well adapted to their environment. I would have thought a moth brain would be quite adept at controlling a rotorcraft drone...
In a development offering hope to slain hero cops everywhere, Arizona boffins have wired up sensors to a living brain, then connected the hookups to a machine body hugely more powerful than the brain's own. The robotically controlled moth The moth in its enhanced machine body. We're not quite talking Robocop yet, however. …
I see already growing trend in robotics science where animal activist would have something to say. I is hard to say if them activists are bothered about insects, moskitos or such but if birds have natural talent for flying why shouldnt they ( or rather their brains ) fly planes.
Should have called this article Mothocop anyway.
A moth that eats tabbaco (I asume by its name) has been give robocop style powers? NOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Our future robot overlords will now have a way to controle us (The smokers at least!). Whats next in this list of dangers? Fitting Hop munching bugs with flame throwers?
Got to go panic buy Ciggies!
I'm sorry but putting animal brains into robots whether rats, moths or politicians is very creepy.
I can't help pondering on how frustrated the poor moth (in this case) is at no longer being able to fly.
Let's face it, all an adult moth (and indeed politician) is interested in is flying towards lights, nectar and reproduction. Nor sure how that model fits in with modern day policing, although I could make a few suggestions. . . anonymously of course.
So as a 4 inch moth its a pest eating crops. Now to the near future the moth is now driving a combine cutting the crops for us thinking its going to get the next crop for itself. Suddenly it dawns "these buggers are using me" then off it trots to the nearest town in its 10ton churning and ripping machine. WOW hollywood needs to script this so we dont fall for it. Whos using who. The scientist thinks he is onto a break through and all the time the queen moth is using mind power to take over the world WOOOOHAHAHAHA!!!!!! B movie time.
With the current state of medical science and (especially) the ineptitude of medical "professionals" I would like to sign my name on the dotted line. I am sure at some point in the next 30 to 50 years my liver will give out and I can't think of a better way to deal with the inability to imbibe than to become a Cybermen and enslave meatbags the universe over.
Coat. Hat. Pub. Upgrade Centre #223.
I think you'll find the Pentagon have already cornered the Market in the Bio-Mechanical Paranoid Android by Proxy Poxy Programming. IT isn't a Life though as it isn't yours to Control.
A Remote Temporal Cortex Lobotomy for Cannon Fodder, Visualised and Virtualised, and Performed on the Innocent and Naive. One Dumb Mother/Son of a Bitch of a Program/New World Order Project.
One would have thought that they would have far Greater and Beta Things to do with their Time in this Place/on this Space.
They'll certainly be offered no Place for such Shenanigans in this Space...... and the idea of them setting up Bases in CyberSpace is QuITe Ridiculous although as a Simulator for BetaTesting of Proposed and Supposed 42BReal Down-to-Earth Life Systems, IT would certainly have a Worth.
The Trick is to Ensure Positive rather than Negative Value
I for one welcome our new cybernetically enhanced insect overlords.
Why does this story give me mental images of thousands of these bug-bots descending onto a field of tobacco, to the tune of Ride Of The Valkyries?
dumdumdededumdum dumdededumdum dumdededumdum dumdededum
See what you've done reg? I'll never get that f'kin tune out of my head now :(
From the picture it looks like it might just go round in circles if you poked it with a finger. There's much more impressive stuff from the 18th century in London's Science Museum - glass case loads of it. So would this be a significant contribution to cybernetic engineering or to the sociology of cybernetics?
"if birds have natural talent for flying why shouldnt they ( or rather their brains ) fly planes."
Based on the amount of birds I've seen expressing this natural talent by braining themselves on patio windows, I going to say "no thanks!"
When doing research on animals, there is often an astounding amount of paperwork and ethical review involved. The benefit of the research is weighed carefully against the amount of harm done on the animal. As it stands, little research that harms animals is allowed at all. The line for this paperwork and review is drawn at whether or not the animal the animal has a spine (roughly). Insects are free game to do anything to without ethics committee review, while birds, frogs, and monkeys require the review.
As a caveat, I believe the paperwork requirement is tied to U.S. Federal funding, so private research or private business operations are immune.
The moth won't eat tobacco plants, the caterpillar will, however.
Maybe this is the next move for the anti-smoking lobby- cyborg caterpillars to eat the plants, and if that doesn't work we'll be attacked by kamikaze moths as we stand out in the open outside pubs.
Won't somebody think of the children?
Think a moment: A moth is used to run a helicopter. Remember how moths are attracted to light? Right. The hacks who came to cover the event would attract Robo-Mothra with their camera flashes and it would be an unmitigated disaster. Plus, MechaMothra could only be used during the daytime.
Lester reported some time ago on IIRC an organic neural net grown from rat brain cells being used to control an aircraft. The rat brain cells apparently did well.
So, what would you rather have controlling your autonomous airborne weapons platform: a moth or a blastula of rat brain cells? I vote the rat.
I cannot fear the consequences of what these researchers are doing. Just look at that thing :-D
I see pieces from my old Mechano set, batteries held on by rubber bands, variously coloured bits of electrical tape, scraps of wood, and isn't that the poor old moth mounted on the end of a pencil with masking tape?
...over the transfer of consciousness from flesh to machine escalated into a research project which has decimated over a million Lego Mindstorm kits.
On an unrelated note, they should use moth brains in a new DARPA driverless vehicle challenge. Just make sure they can't turn on their hi-beams, otherwise there may be quite a few head-on collisions.
Check out Dan Dennett's talk about memes, an updated take on ideas as viruses that infect us and then use us to replicate:
At least the poor moth hasn't had his firmware messed with. We get ours tweaked all the time. Let's see, what day is it today? Are the Afghans our noble freedom-fighter allies against godless Roosky communists or are the Rooskies our noble allies against Afghan terrorists?
If we ever do replace the moth à la RoboCop, you can be sure that it will only be after some very heavy-duty "programming" (also eerily fortold in RoboCop). Until then, cultures and other systems will have to be content with replacing our natural powers of observation and reasoning with their favorite moths/memes in order to constrain and control our bodies/bots.
Kind of brings a new meaning to the word "debugging", doesn't it?