NIKKEI NET has an interesting article today on how Japanese boffins are studying insects to create cyborgs (cybugs?) that integrate electronics with bits of their bodies.
Junpei Kanazaki, of the University of Tokyo, thinks that he can use the ability of the silkworm moth to detect pheromes from a female moth over one kilometre away to detect narcotics instead.
His Frankenstein creation integrates the head of a moth with a 30 centimetre robot to detect the pheromones and point to where the source is.
Nissan is studying the bee’s ability to avoid obstacles in a hundredth of a second and hopes those principles can be applied to future motor car designs.
Mammals, according to Kanakazi, have brains that have 100 million neurons, while insect brains are hundreds of thousands of times simpler.
Kanakazi, however, should take note of Intel’s take on the humble bumble bee. According to an Intel executive in 1998, its CPUs would have enough transistors to equal the number of logical circuits of a bee family member by 2010. The nikkei.net article is here – you will need a subscription.
If all of this comes to pass, it will be most interesting.