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Cockroaches Ready to Save Human Lives!

We think of these little, fast running animals as disgusting, gross germ-carrying bugs, but now they’re being elevated to a service that can help save human lives.  Scientists at North Carolina State University have (reportedly) created an electronic backpack that a roach can wear.  Why would anyone want to develop a cockroach backpack?  The backpack has a microcontroller that can guide a cockroach, which is small enough to slip through very small cracks and can climb on just about anything, to locate victims in situations, such as people trapped in collapsed buildings.

How does the backpack work and why would a cockroach put up with one on its back?  Madagascar hissing cockroaches don’t seem to have a problem wearing a tiny backpack with a circuit board, microcontroller, receiver, electrodes and a lithium-ion battery in it.  Wireless signals are directed at the cockroach’s sensory organs, which can direct the roach.

Entomologists must be very happy and proud of their little friends, and maybe in the case of saving a person’s life, we could all forgive a disgusting bug coming to save us…if we don’t step on it first before we realize what it’s there for!

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