Tag Archives: science meets fiction

Because Cockroaches Aren’t Strong Enough?

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a TINSTAAFL Tuesday.  I know it’s not Tuesday, but this is definitely TINSTAAFL (“There is no such thing as a free lunch”) worthy. In fact, I’m changing the category while I make blog adjustments.

From Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain USDA image)

From Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain USDA image)
Click image to go to source.

Cockroaches are gross. There I said it. I grew up in the Houston area where the cockroaches grow as large as small puppies.

When I was six or seven, I was waiting on the school sidewalk for my mom to pick me up. I was wearing sandals, and something tickled my foot. I ignored it for a second. Then I used my other foot to scratch the itch. It still itched. I looked down to see a ginormous roach on my practically-bare foot. I screamed and kicked my feet and danced around like the cowboy who has someone shooting at his feet in a Wild West movie.

*shiver*

What if you were in a disaster and your only hope for being rescued was a cyborg Madagascar hissing cockroach?  How about a cockroach with its own fuel cell?

Did I mention that I can’t stand these insects? I hope I’m not offending anyone out there who might love them.

*bleh*

Back to the disaster…

You’re trapped in a destroyed building. That’s pretty stressful (I know, understatement!). Then a cyborg cockroach runs toward you. I don’t know about you, but I might be tempted to smash it before I realized that it had some kind of technology attached to it, squishing my one chance of survival.  I hope I have something nearby to cover up the cockroach carnage so that I don’t have to look at it while I remain trapped.

*gag*

To keep things interesting, check out this article about cyborg flying insects.  The circuitry is implanted in the insect pupae and the adult moth’s flight can be controlled for military or security use.  The pictures and diagrams are fascinating. Evidently, this technology was inspired by a science fiction novel called Sparrowhark by Thomas A. Easton. I haven’t read it, but this is a clear case of science fiction intersecting with or inspiring current science.

While the bugs don’t seem to be harmed (beyond having someone control them), I just have to wonder if it is really necessary to make a practically-indestructible insect even more powerful.  They will outlive us all. Do we have to give them help?

Do the benefits outway the risks?  What kinds of things can you see go wrong with this kind of technology mixed with insects?  How would you react if a cyborg insect (crawling or flying) approached you in a disaster situation or any situation?

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