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科学家发明蟑螂机器人 可用于搜索和救援任务 Scientists create a remote-controlled cyborg cockroach

chinadaily.com.cn 2022-09-07 08:00






While it may sound like something that has crawled out of your nightmares, cyborg cockroaches have arrived as friends rather than foes.

Scientists in Japan have designed a new remote-controlled insect, equipped with a battery 'backpack' that is powered by solar panels.

The cockroach, which is part insect and part machine, is intended to enter hazardous areas, monitor the environment or undertake search and rescue missions without needing to be recharged.

The researchers from the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research had to install some components into a tiny pack to allow for all the roach's natural movements.
来自RIKEN Cluster的研究人员进行了开创性的研究,他们必须将一些组件安装到一个小背包中,以便让蟑螂自由行动。

Lead author Kenjiro Fukuda said: 'The body-mounted ultrathin organic solar cell module achieves a power output of 17.2 mW, which is more than 50 times larger than the power output of current state-of-the art energy harvesting devices on living insects.'

Famously able to survive a nuclear war, cockroaches have been the inspiration for a number of technologies in recent years.

Different teams of scientists have designed remote-controlled robo-bugs that can scale walls, carry objects and find humans during search-and-rescue missions.

The cockroaches are still alive, but wires attached to their two 'cerci' - sensory organs on the end of their abdomens - send electrical impulses that cause the insect to move right or left.

A battery is necessary for the sending and receiving of these electrical signals, which needs to be charged up.

While it's possible to build docking stations for recharging the battery, the need to return and recharge could disrupt time-sensitive missions.

The RIKEN team wanted to create a more practical version that did not need to return to a docking station when it ran out of power.

Therefore, they designed an on-board solar cell that could continuously ensure that the cockroach stays charged while it works.

However, cockroaches have a limited surface area available for all the components necessary to move its legs and keep it powered.

The solution, published in npj Flexible Electronics, was to design a special 'backpack' that could neatly carry both the wireless leg-control module and rechargeable lithium polymer battery.

This was attached to the top of the insect on its thorax, and was 3D printed to fit perfectly to the curved surface of the Madagascar cockroach or Gromphadorhina portentosa.

It allowed for this electronic device to be stably mounted on the insect for over a month, while leaving space elsewhere on the body to implant the solar panel.

The 0.004 mm thick organic solar cell module was mounted on the dorsal side of the roach's abdomen.



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