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Cyborg Beetles Powered by a Wing and a Piezolectric Prayer

Illustration for article titled Cyborg Beetles Powered by a Wing and a Piezolectric Prayer

Remember this day, friends. Remember when the cyborg beetles early first took flight in our labs and flew right into their world domination destiny. Look! Even now one of the brood is stealing a quarter, no doubt for financing purposes.


But total world domination won't happen just yet. First, their human scientist handlers must perfect the way that the tiny piezolectric generators implanted on their backs create energy using nothing but the insect's own wing flaps.

How's it going so far? Pretty good for the beetles, reports Discover:

- Trying out two different shapes, spiral and beam-like, with two different designs each, they were able to harvest about 45 µW of power from each beetle, and demonstrated that the closer they got to the base of the beetles' wings, the more they could scavenge. Right near the base, they could increase their power output to 115 µW.
- They estimate that if the generator can be hooked up directly to the beetle's wing, though, they could increase power output by 10 times, enough to run the flight-control neural implants.


The next crucial step is attaching the generator directly to the wing, which would result in a theorized 10-fold energy boost. It's at that point we lose contact with the lab and the disaster movie begins. [Discover]

You can keep up with Jack Loftus, the author of this post, on Twitter and Facebook.

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They wouldn't be able to keep the beetles alive in the wild. If they used this "mind control" to modify their flight patterns, they would likely die. They need to go about their business freely to survive.

What are they going to do? Program it to find shit to eat at certain times of the day...or just focus on programming it to fly....I think the latter, which means lots of dead beetles.