Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Roachinator and Lycra-Clad Chickens

This is just fantastic. An article in the Australian reports into cutting edge scientific research in robotics (link via The Thin Line).

"The robot, InsBot, developed by researchers in France, Belgium and Switzerland, is capable of infiltrating a group of cockroaches, influencing them and altering their behaviour."

"The third stage, undertaken by the French Centre for Scientific Research in Brittany, was to isolate the molecules that give cockroaches their smell -- to create a cockroach perfume".
I think this is going to be big. I can just imagine it: Roach, by Calvin Klein
"InsBot, which is green, the size of a matchbox and equipped with lasers and a light sensor, was developed by Switzerland's Federal Polytechnic School in Lausanne."
From the description it's obviously some sort of cyber commando roach with shoulder mounted laser deaaath raaaays.
"Other applications are also envisaged for the computer programs developed under the Leurre project. Guy Theraulaz, CRCA director of research, said it may be possible to build chicken-like robots that will be used to stimulate poultry."
That sounds a little raunchy. I don't know if I'd want to eat that at KFC. Wait a minute -- I see, my dirty mind was getting away from me a bit there -- it's some sort of robot that reads shakespeare to the chickens.
"A lot of chickens don't move at all and die as a result. They need to be encouraged to run around. Robots could do that," he said.
Oh, I see. It's good to see the poultry industry making efforts to increase efficiency by utilising modern technology with their robo-chicken exercise instructors. "C'mon girls, lets move those bodies, kick those legs! We want to be 97% fat free. Yeah. Now some star jumps!".

(While it might sound like I'm being sarcstic about this technology, I actually think it's very interesting and has a lot of promise. It's just, some of those lines in that article...).

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