For humans, breaking through the rubble of buildings that collapsed due to the earthquake is certainly not easy. The risk is great, and it is not impossible to take a life.
But not so with cockroaches. Its small size and light weight make it easy to fit into very small holes or spaces.
That’s what prompted scientists at Riken, a prestigious scientific research institute in Japan, to develop cyborg cockroaches. They have, in essence, developed an electronic device as thin as a sheet of plastic that the cockroaches can attach to allow them to navigate the insect’s movements.
Kenjiru Fukuda, senior scientist at Riken, explains the benefits of a tool called solar electronic backpack that. “Our main goal is to use this tool to help locate survivors in places where disasters occur. In particular, when an earthquake occurs where people are buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings. We are trying to develop an application that will allow us to break through the gaps. -small gap.”
Fukuda and his team selected Madagascar cockroaches for their research. These hissing insects are large enough to be loaded with equipment, but lack wings to hinder their movement.
Riken’s team admits that their research is far from perfect. The equipment they have developed, for example, is equipped with a battery that runs out quickly. “The battery power installed in this small robot runs out quickly, so the exploration time becomes shorter. However, these cyborg insects are actively moving so that the electricity needed is actually not so much,” he explained.
Japan is known as a country that often experiences earthquakes. The Japan Meteorological Agency estimates that about 5,000 earthquakes occur in the country every year.
The general public is often not aware of the high frequency given the low scale of the earthquakes and the earthquake epicenters that are far from the mainland,
The agency reports that about 3,800 earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 to 3.9 on the Richter Scale are recorded annually in Japan. Meanwhile, earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.0 to 4.9 on the Richter Scale recorded an average of 900 cases in one year. [ab/uh]