Scientists Demo Living, Remote-Control Flying Cyborg Beetles

Berkeley University scientists demoed a remote-control Rhinoceros beetle at a conference this week, repeatedly flying the cyborgian creature into observers' faces while screaming "WE ARE GODS! WE HUNGER FOR BLOOD SACRIFICE!

The first part of that, the true part, represents a huge step in the mechanical control of living things. It's far from the first foray into insect mind control, but by far the most precise—this specimen, commanded by six radio-actuated electrodes on the beetle's muscles and brain, could be piloted around the room like a tiny RC plane.

The hardware isn't much of a burden for the beetle, which is capable of taking flight with more than twice the 1.3g mass of the apparatus on board. The remaining payload will probably be filled with camera gear, as this project is funded by DARPA (natch) for surveillance purposes.

Unfortunately there's no video of the demo yet, but we have been furnished with this unintentionally funny picture of the event, which may or may not contain the bug in question. Can you spot it? [Tech-on]

Scientists Demo Living, Remote-Control Flying Cyborg Beetles