Resistance may soon be futile. With machine implants worthy of a Star Trek villain, a new breed of beetle takes walking instructions from its human overlords.
Hirotaka Sato and his colleagues at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore inserted electrodes into flower beetles (Mecynorrhina torquata) to stimulate specific leg muscle groups. By altering the order of electrical zaps, the team could control a beetle’s gait. Changing the duration of the electrical signals also altered speed and step length, Sato and colleagues report in the March Journal of the Royal Society Interface.