DARPA developing cyborg insects

Photo Credit: Mike Libby, Insect Lab

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding research that would embed insects with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) that would then in turn allow them to be controlled remotely. The program, dubbed “Hybrid-Insect MEMS” or ‘”HI-MEMS,” is funding three research groups at the University of Michigan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Boyce Thompson Institute.

The final milestone [of the project] will be flying a cyborg insect to within five meters of a specific target located some one hundred meters away using remote control or a global positioning system (GPS). If HI-MEMS passes this test successfully, then DARPA will probably begin breeding in earnest. Insect swarms with various sorts of different embedded MEMS sensors–video cameras, audio microphones, chemical sniffers and more–could then penetrate enemy territory in swarms to perform reconnaissance missions impossible or too dangerous for soldiers.

One thought on “DARPA developing cyborg insects”

  1. Maybe this will generate applications in ten years but right now this idea sounds like psyops to me.

    Imagine Iranians going all apeshit when they see a flock of birds. “OMG ahmed was just zapped by a LASER from a LOCUST and collapsed into a heap of steaming red meat!”

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