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Researchers use Kinect to steer cockroaches on autopilot

Ross Cronkrite | Science Recorder | June 25, 2013

Researchers use Kinect to steer cockroaches on autopilot

Researchers want to utilize the cockroaches to examine and map disaster sites.

Researchers from North Carolina State University are utilizing Kinect technology to steer cockroaches on autopilot, with a computer moving the cockroach through a controlled environment. The researchers are taking advantage of the video game technology to determine how cockroaches react to the remote control, with the ultimate goal of creating ways that cockroaches on autopilot can be utilized to map dynamic environments like collapsed structures after an earthquake or tornado.

The researchers have integrated Kinect technology into an electronic interface created at North Carolina State university that can remotely command cockroaches. The researchers enter a digitally plotted path for the cockroach, and utilize Kinect to figure out and track the insect’s movement. The program then utilizes the Kinect tracking data to automatically move the roach along the desired path.

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