US Military Plans To Make Insect Cyborgs

hornet insect cyborgThe Pentagon is seeking applications from researchers to help them develop technology that can be implanted into living insects to control their movement and transmit video or other sensory data back to their handlers.In an announcement posted on government Web sites last week, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, says it is seeking “innovative proposals to develop technology to create insect cyborgs,” by implanting tiny devices into insect bodies while the animals are in their pupal stage.As an insect metamorphoses from a larva to an adult, the solicitation notice says, its “body goes through a renewal process that can heal wounds and reposition internal organs around foreign objects, including tiny (mechanical) structures that might be present.”Looks like it’s going to be a three way war: a fight to the death between humans; cyborg sharks and insects; and robotic climbers, pack mules, and gunships.LinkUpdate: Regine at We-make-money-not-art posts a link to Shawn Plourde’s survey of animals used in warfare:WWII: Attach a bomb to a cat and drop it from a dive-bomber on to Nazi ships. The cat, hating water, will “wrangle” itself on to enemy ship’s deck. In tests cats became unconscious in mid-air.WWII: Attach incendiaries to bats. Induce hibernation and drop them from planes. They wake up, fly into factories etc and blow up. Failed to wake from hibernation and fell to deathVietnam War: Dolphins trained to tear off diving gear of Vietcong divers and drag them to interrogation, sources linked to the programme say. Syringes later placed on dolphin flippers to inject carbon dioxide into divers, who explode. US Navy has always denied using mammals to harm humans.2nd Update: I want a pet hornet!

2006.03.16