Rescue Work in Disaster-Ridden Areas Draws Inspiration from Cockroaches to Locate Survivors

November 13, 2014, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The creepy little insect that always annoys you may soon prove to be a life saver. Researchers of North Carolina State University are in the process of bringing out cyborg cockroaches.

Dubbed as biobots, these cyborg devices have the form and shape of its animate counterparts, but are meant to be man’s friend in disaster-hit areas.

Cyborg cockroaches will flutter around disaster-ridden areas in search of survivors, thus becoming the perfect ally in rescue work.


These biobots are equipped with microphones that pick up sound from the vicinity so as to locate survivors within a disaster-hit area, say in a collapsed building.

In order to ensure that the biobots maneuver within the perimeters, some cutting- edge technology has been used.

Movement and survivor tracking are carried out by means of backpacks that are equipped on the anatomy of these inanimate insects.

A single microphone or an array of microphones pointed in different directions will help track the audible tones and lead the ’insects’ towards the source of these sounds.

Responders may be required for tracking down the direction received from the high-quality sound of a single microphone, which gets the omission in case of three-dimensional array of microphones.

The detailed paper on research work of these biobots was presented at the IEEE Sensors 2014 conference in Valencia, Spain.

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