July 07, 2005
Like They Need Any Help Getting Around

Have Roachbot, will travel:

While most people are concerned with exterminating any roaches inhabiting their homes, artist Garnet Hertz ensures they can zip around in style.

Taking a cue from technology that looks to biological systems for inspiration, Hertz has constructed a three-wheeled robotic vehicle that lets a Madagascan hissing cockroach navigate a room while perched atop a ping-pong ball.
Hertz rotates 15 giant Madagascan cockroaches in and out of the driver's seat of the vehicle. Instead of brains, the roaches have ganglia: clumps of nerve cells on various parts of their bodies. Their relatively large size make them easier to work with than other types of roaches, and their tendency to hiss when they are upset lets him know if it's time to give one a break from playing Dale Earnhardt. They have a life span of about three years, so he has plenty of chances to let them drive.

Roachbuggies. Roachbuggies. What will they think of next?

Posted by scott at July 07, 2005 02:41 PM

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