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Researchers Have Produced a Remote-Control Cyborg Cockroach Called the “Robo-Roach”

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A method for generating remote-controlled cyborg cockroaches has been developed by an international team led by researchers at the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research (CPR). The device includes a tiny wireless control module that is powered by a rechargeable battery coupled to a solar cell.

Despite the mechanical gadgets, the insects may move freely thanks to flexible materials and ultrathin electronics. These developments, which were published on September 5 in the academic journal npj Flexible Electronics, will contribute to the widespread use of artificial insects.

State-of-the-art Cockroaches

To help investigate dangerous regions or monitor the environment, scientists have been attempting to create cyborg insects, which are partially insects and most machines. The ability to control cyborg insects remotely for extended periods of time is necessary for their use to be viable, though. This necessitates cordless, rechargeable battery-powered control of their leg segments. Nobody wants a team of robotic cockroaches running about who are suddenly out of control, therefore keeping the battery fully charged is essential.

Although docking stations for charging the battery could be constructed, the requirement to return and recharge might interfere with missions that must be completed on schedule. In order to ensure that the battery is always charged, the ideal solution is to incorporate an onboard solar cell.

It’s easier said than done, though. The research team had to develop a special backpack, ultrathin organic solar cell modules, and an adhesion system that keeps the machinery attached for extended periods of time while still allowing natural movements in order to successfully integrate these devices into a cockroach with limited surface area.

The dorsal side of the abdomen was mounted with the 0.004 mm thick organic solar cell module. “The body-mounted ultrathin organic solar cell module achieves a power output of 17.2 mW, which is more than 50 times larger than the power output of current state-of-the art energy harvesting devices on living insects,” according to Fukuda.

Free to Move

Movement freedom was made possible by the organic solar cell’s ultrathin and flexibility, as well as how it was attached to the insect. The researchers discovered that the abdomen changes shape and parts of the exoskeleton overlap when they closely examined the motions of cockroaches in their natural environment.

They interspersed adhesive and non-adhesive regions onto the films to accommodate this, allowing the films to stretch while maintaining their bond. The cockroaches took twice as long to run the same distance when thicker solar cell films were tested, or when the films were uniformly attached. They also had trouble getting back up after falling.

The new cockroach cyborgs were evaluated after these parts, together with cables that stimulate the leg segments, were incorporated into the insects. Animals were induced to turn to the left and right using the wireless remote control after the battery had been charged for 30 minutes using simulated sunlight.

A hybrid electronic system with hard and flexible elements in the thorax and ultrasoft devices in the abdomen looks to be an appropriate design for cyborg cockroaches, according to Fukuda. “Considering the deformation of the thorax and abdomen during fundamental locomotion,” he adds. Furthermore, because abdominal deformation occurs in other insects as well, such as beetles or possibly even flying insects like cicadas in the future, our approach can be applied to them.

Entertainment

Tons of Fans Express Interest in a Def Jam Revival

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A popular EA series that blended fighting and hip hop has been inactive for some time. Def Jam: Icon, the company’s last real fighting game, was released in 2007, but fans have been wishing for a revival ever since.

What They Can Do

In order to show EA how much support there is for a new installment on contemporary systems, these same devoted fans have now made the decision to take matters into their own hands and start a petition. It’s been going very well so far.

Growing Strength

Over 8500 people have signed the petition to see a new Def Jam game on the PS5 and Xbox Series X, which was started by YouTube creator RAH GAMING. Many have also left comments expressing how much they would value the series’ return.

Ice-T also joined the Def Jam comeback earlier this year when he requested a Fight for New York revival on Twitter, predicting that it “would be a huge hit all over again.” He played a role in the game too, so knowing that he’d likely be open to developing a new installment if the chance presented itself is pretty reassuring.

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Yet Another Mobile Game is in the Works for Bethesda

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Bethesda, the company behind Starfield and many iconic games, is now developing a new mobile game, however it’s not clear which of its well-known titles it will be based on.

A Huge Announcement

Todd Howard, executive producer at Bethesda and director of Starfield, disclosed that the company is creating another mobile game on the most recent episode of Lex Fridman’s podcast.

Something New

Howard was frank while discussing the conceptual differences between creating a game for a console and one for a mobile device: “Well we’ve done a few things, and we have a new mobile game that we’re working on that we haven’t announced yet that I am in love with.”

He made no other hints as to the game’s genre, release date, or other details, but he did suggest that it will be a longer experience rather than a game meant to be played in spurts.

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Wednesday Takes Over Record That Stranger Things 4 Used to Hold

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Wednesday on Netflix debuted with a bang. With 341.2 million hours seen after its Nov. 23 premiere, the fantasy series starring Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams is at the top of the Netflix Top 10 TV ranking for the week of Nov. 21 to 27.

Getting to the Top

In terms of the number of hours seen in a week for an English-language TV series on Netflix, “Wednesday” has broken the previous record. Season 4 of “Stranger Things” held the record with 335.01 million hours watched.

News by the Numbers

Data from Netflix indicates that more than 50 million households have watched the show since it debuted, making it the English-language TV series on Netflix with the most hours seen in a week.

The program has also surpassed Stranger Things’ previous record by being #1 in 83 nations. Other recent programs, like the Jeffrey Dahmer true crime series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story back in late September, have gone close to breaking Stranger Things’ record.

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