Brainchipped flesh-cloak cyborg bug-bug passes milestone
Early hosts successfully cored, control snags remain
DARPA (the Pentagon asylum for usefully-insane scientists) is apparently making progress with its plan to build cyborg infiltrator machines wearing living creatures like fleshy cloaks.
Lest anyone think that this is a story about California politics, however, one should note that thus far DARPA and its associated groups are working with moths rather than immense Austrian bodybuilders.
Flight International reports that engineering boffin Robert Michelson - perhaps most famous for his "Entomopter" synthimuscle-flapper insectoid Martian mini-bot plan - gave an update on the DARPA programme at a joint US-Indian miniflybot conference on Friday.
Encouragingly - for those who find the cyborg concept appealing, anyway - it seems DARPA has found that it is indeed possible to pull out the middle of a suitable creature, throw all the entrails in the bin, and slip a mechanoid core into the resulting freed-up space. The machine's fleshy cloak will even go on to show good tissue growth afterwards, at least in the case of Manduca moths.
It seems, however, that the Pentagon bug-boffins would like to be able to borg up an insect at far-flung military bases, rather than just in specialist US facilities. Otherwise, the living outer cladding of the miniature machine spy might die of old age before it got to the front lines.
"You'd like this [lepidopterine listener] to be created out where you need it rather than in a lab in California," said Michelson.
In the longer term, the plan will be to fit selected insects with a range of sensors for (cough) bugging purposes, perhaps harvest bioelectric power from them, and somehow get the little fellows to fly under remote or autonomous computer control. Methods previously suggested for this last challenge include tiny jump-leads clipped onto their nervous systems, small transparent displays fixed over their eyes, or "projection of ultrasonic pulses simulating bats". The use of pheromone smell-control has also been mooted.
Needless to say, the biomimetic borg arms race seems already to have begun. DARPA and Georgia Tech with their puny moth-terminators may rue the day they went up against the US Army/U-Michigan chiropterthopter war bat with its smell scanners and gargoyle mode.
The counterstroke would almost inevitably involve the use of Robocop-style powered assist mechwarrior gear with moths at the controls - again, something already being trialled.
Read the Flight report here. ®
Rise of the Machines this is not why?
@Fluffykins: you need a lie down after that, maybe a bit of a life even.
All for One, One for All, ..... C'est l'Amour
"OR the increased chances of a team of people working behind you with external feed and information sources as you [perform random mission type] with visual and auditory feedback to the team." .... By multipharious Posted Tuesday 18th March 2008 21:52 GMT
A much better Route for Teams Going All the Way, multipharious, with every chance of batting with the Nefarious.
Some souls come at IT from a reverse angle ..... "Are we struggling to make machines more like humans when we should be making humans more like machines….."
After all, so very few of them live their own Lives just as they would wish, which means that it is being hoovered up by others doing probably just what they wish with no Thought of the Future and Consequence and Just Desserts.
Having Swallowed the Financial Poison of Handling Toxic Intellectual Property Waste though, the Prognosis is ...Miracle Needed?
Immense Austrian bodybuilders?
So you have seen Arnies latest pics then. Now thats what I call scary.