Japanese Researchers Says Cyborg Cockroaches Could Be Used For Household Maintenance

by : Daniel Richardson on : 12 Nov 2020 10:50
cockroach robotDigital Nature Group/University of Tsukuba

Japanese researchers are testing out technology that allows them to control cockroaches, and it has been proposed that the insect could help out around the house.

The sight of cockroaches can be pretty off-putting, but they could become a more regular feature in the lives of people as they are trained to be assistants. The Digital Nature Group, at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, focus on combining technology with the natural world and this has led them to the manipulation of cockroach senses. It should be noted the video that illustrates the technology may be distressing for those who dislike insects.


By stimulating the nerves of the cockroach, researchers believe swarms of cockroaches can be used to undertake daily tasks. Due to the insects’ strength and ability to collaborate, it is thought the insect could work with several others to push things around and undertake tasks. The use of multiple insects also avoids cases of individuals who refuse to follow the command, which is proven to happen when numerous insects have been encouraged to carry out an activity.

When the commands stop, the cockroaches should return to a dark area and eat, before being called upon again.

The inputs into the nervous system, the fact that cockroaches would be in the same area as a person, and the possibility of giving the insect more impetus such as audio cues probably won’t sit well with many. Not only is it pretty scary, but it also seems pretty cruel to the swarm of cockroaches. Nonetheless, the Digital Nature Group look set to continue seeing how nature and technology can combine.


Let’s just hope the next coming together of nature and tech is less creepy.

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Daniel Richardson

After graduating from university, Dan went on to work with a variety of tech startups and media outlets. Through working with the likes of Game Rant, The Hook and What Culture, Dan pursued his interests in technology. The skills he picked up along the way are now being utilised with UNILAD.

Topics: Technology, Japan, Robotics, Science, Tech


  1. Calmbots

    Digital Nature Group/YouTube