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SJTUers Realize “Brain Control Cockroach”

May 27, 2015      Author: Li Guangye

Science fiction film Avatar made up the scientific dream of biologically controlling allograft through "brain-brain interface" technique. A few days ago, this dream was realized by Laboratory for Bio Robotics and Biological Robots in Robotics Institute, School of mechanical and power engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). Under the guidance of Zhang Dingguo, postgraduate student Li Guangye controlled a living cockroach with human mind, which has won the second prize in 2015 IEEE RAS students' video contest and would be exhibited in the top-level meeting ICRA2015.

Brain Control Cockroach

The research establishes the functional "brain-brain interface" between human and cockroach, sending signal of human mind to the brain of cockroach and realizing the remote wireless control of cockroach's action. Controller wears a portable wireless brain wave collecting device and their mind will have a directional intention based on the visual feedback and the visual stimulation; the computer will decode the brain wave received and recognize the directional intention of the controller, then transfer it into controlling signal and send it to the electronic backpack receiver on the back of the cockroach; microelectrode has been planted into the antennae nerve in the head of the cockroach, which produces a controllable living "machine animal". By virtue of the Bluetooth communication technology, controller could form a wireless communication between the computer and the electronic backpack which will receive the commanding signal from the controller's mind and send specific electric pulse to the antennal nerve of the cockroach through intrusive electrical nerve stimulation technique so to realize the controlling of cockroach by human beings.

Brain Control Cockroach

This research realized the controlling of living cockroach to walk in S-shaped path and Z-shaped path by human mind. They pointed out that this research extended the traditional brain-computer interface technology and tentatively attempted the avatar brain-brain communication. In the future, this could also be used for complex terrain reconnaissance, risk-elimination and so on, and also lay a solid foundation for the uprising of brainwork.

It is reported that the researcher will still upgrade the controlling mode to realize the controlling of several cockroaches by several controllers at the same time.


Attachment: award-winning video links





Translated by Ling Jie     Reviewed by Wang Bingyu