A team of the Young Scientist Laboratory of premier R&D facility Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is creating rat cyborgs for help in Intelligence Surveillance and Recovery operations of security forces, an official has said here.
The rat cyborgs will have cameras mounted on the head and will be guided using electronic commands through semi-invasive brain electrodes, P Shiva Prasad, Director of the DRDO’s Young Scientist Laboratory (DYSL-AT), said after a session of World Science Congress here on Thursday.
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”This is the first time India had engaged in developing such technology. Some foreign nations already have it.
It will help armed forces in Intelligence Surveillance and Recovery (ISR) operations. Phase 1 trials, in which the rat will be controlled through commands of the operator, are underway,” he said.
”In Phase 2, scientists can actually feed images into the camera mounted on the head for the rat cyborgs to find. An example of its use could be a situation like the 26/11 terror attack in which more than 200 rooms of a hotel had to be searched,” Prasad said.
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He said remote-controlled robots engaged for such ISR operations have manoeuvrability issues like climbing walls and entering narrow spaces, whereas rats show endurance at such tasks and the knowledge of its pleasure points allow scientists to encourage it for missions by offering food-based incentives.
”In Phase 1, the electrodes will need to be implanted in the brain of the rats, while in Phase 2, we will go for wireless transmission. We have used three to four rats for the lab tests,” he said.