Kinect helps researchers steer roaches to explore and map disaster sites

Kinect-controlled roaches

By incorporating a Microsoft Kinect into a proprietary electronic interface, researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) are able to track and remotely control cockroaches.

More Vision Articles

How accurate is the Kinect?

Enhanced 3D sensing capabilities in Microsoft Kinect

NASA's JPL researchers operate a robotic arm with Kinect 2 and Oculus Rift

Kinect -based sign language interpretation

Kinect helps researchers steer roaches to explore and map disaster sites

The researchers plot a path for the cockroach and use the Kinect to identify and track the insect’s progress, and with that data, steer the cockroaches along the desired path, according to an NCSU press release.

Researchers are able to control the roaches via an interface that is wired to the bug’s antennae and cerci. The wires attached to the antennae trick the roach into thinking that the antennae are in contact with a barrier and steering them in the opposite direction, while the wires attached to the cerci spur the roach into motion.

The goal of the project is to guide roaches as efficiently as possible, said Dr. Alper Bozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State in the press release.

“We want to build on this program, incorporating mapping and radio frequency techniques that will allow us to use a small group of cockroaches to explore and map disaster sites,” Bozkurt says. “The autopilot program would control the roaches, sending them on the most efficient routes to provide rescuers with a comprehensive view of the situation.”

Roaches controlled by the Kinect-enabled system would also be equipped with sensors to detect survivors in collapsed buildings or other disaster areas. In the future, the roaches could even have small speakers, which would allow rescuers to communicate to people who are trapped.

View the North Carolina State University press release.

Also check ou

(Slideshow) Virtual reality system aids firefighter navigation
Kinect -based system optimizes weightlifter's performance
Can Oculus Rift and Kinect revolutionize virtual reality?

Share your vision-related news by contacting James Carroll, Senior Web Editor, Vision Systems Design

To receive news like this in your inbox, click here.


An update on USB3 Vision

This presentation,  sponsored by Point Grey, Matrox Imaging, and Ximea GmbH., will cover system design issues related to USB3 Vision, and will integrate real-world examples to facilitate under...
April 22, 2014

Choosing and testing smart cameras for your application

This webcast will guide viewers in the selection of smart camera hardware for applications such as inspection and verification, covering various functions and common features.

March 25, 2014

Food inspection from farm to table

The webcast will use actual examples--including long-term academic research and industrial applications--to illustrate and to elaborate the future perspective of R&D in this field. Interactive ...
March 11, 2014

Automotive parts inspection evolves with vision

This webcast, sponsored by Cognex Corporation, Matrox Imaging, Omron Electronics, and Point Grey will identify the technologies and setup requirements, including the system specifications nece...
February 18, 2014


Click here to view archived Vision Systems Design articles