Robot Roach Patrol

Forget Raid. Forget Orkin. When you’re facing an infestation of pests, in this case roaches, your best bet might be a robot. This isn’t a new story, from what I can tell, but it’s popped back up in the last couple of days. And it’s an interesting one. Given that you can now have a robot keeping your house clean, why not have one keeping it roach-free?

In a breakthrough for the battle against mankind’s most diehard enemy – the cockroach – European scientists have hoodwinked a group of them into congregating in a place where they can be stamped on easily.

The kick in the mandibles comes from a Belgian-led team who spent three years developing a mini robot that can convince cockroaches to creep out of dark holes and gather in light places. The InsBot looks more like a pencil sharpener than a household pest, but it smells like a cockroach. Most importantly, the InsBot can pass for a Periplaneta Americana (American cockroach).

OK. Maybe you should keep the insecticide handy, since this model apparently just herds the roaches together for easier spraying/stamping. Still, as Technovelgy points out, it has interesting implications for creating more innovative forms of artificial intelligence. Technovelgy also has an interesting post up about a roach-controlled robot. And for good measure, here’s a link to the project itself.