In early February, an article was uploaded to the BioRxiv database (a repository of preprints for scientific articles in the field of biological sciences with an open access - ed.Techcult) an article about how a team of scientists at the University of Washington in St. Louis turned unsuspecting locusts into biorobots-sappers by implanting electrodes in the brain.
Research on the creation of cyborgs from locusts that can detect explosives by smell was funded by the command of the US Navy. The idea is that it will be significantly cheaper than creating a completely electronic analogue from scratch. A total of 750 thousand dollars were allocated for this project.
In the process of research, scientists have found that locust senses react differently to explosive and non-explosive substances. The signals recorded by them made it possible to create a kind of "unique multivariate signature" that distinguishes explosive substances from safe ones.
To deliver the locusts to the desired location, they were planted in tiny controlled wheeled robots. Once in a given place, the insects detected the smell of hidden explosives within just a few hundred milliseconds.