Cyborg cockroaches to form wireless sensor network in Japan
A research team made up of scientists from the Osaka University and the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology are working together on a project that has developed a fuel cell system that will utilize the internal system of cockroaches to provide a long-term power system that could generate enough juice for a small sensor. Very soon we will have a whole lot of cockroaches with wireless sensors on their backs, creating a veritable self-powered wireless sensor network.
The cockroach wireless sensor network system works like this. The little fuel cell attached to the cockroaches generates electric power by using trehalose, a bodily sugar from the roach’s body fluid. The fuel cell system has electrodes, a tank of body fluid, and a needle that is inserted into the cockroach. This system using the cockroach’s sugars as fuel for electricity is able to generate 50.2 μW (microwatts) of power, enough to operate a small wireless sensor. The research team can design specific sensors for their own needs, and create a network of sensors that use the fuel cell system on roaches as a power source – a power source that can operate for long periods of time, since the cyborg bugs secrete the fluid internally.