“BioBot” Roaches Could Save Lives With Tiny Backpacks

March 24, 2015 - Researchers at North Carolina State University are training a swarm of unlikely heroes. By placing an array of microphones and electrode sensors onto a small circuit board, they've created what they call a "backpack" to be worn by Madagascar hissing cockroaches. The backpacks pick up sounds and help control the insect's movement. A researcher uses a joystick to steer the roach toward the sound source. This technology could help first responders find survivors in the aftermath of a disaster.