According to Geek.com, researchers at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University in Kaliningrad, Russia have developed a tiny cockroach robot that looks and acts exactly like an actual cockroach.
While the experiment may creep a lot of people out, the goal of the project was to invent something small enough to search for accident victims trapped under heaps of debris.
The research team was challenged to develop something that would mimic the exact movements of a real cockroach, while still fitting all of the necessary technology into a bug-shaped device.
Eventually, they settled on the Blaberus craniifer to model their robot after, also known as “The Death’s Head Cockroack.”
The scientific community has had a lengthy history of using cockroaches to aid humanity in a number of different fields.
According to The Guardian, biologists from the University of Manchester once used the fertility habits of female cockroaches to study age-related infertility among human women.
Fertility starts to decline for women from about the age of 30, dropping down even more steeply when they reach 35. Cockroaches, who have an average lifespan of one year, typically reach full sexual maturity at six days old.
Researchers found that delaying their mating process by just two weeks had a major impact on their ability to reproduce. They correlated this to women who reproduce before the age of 25, noting that these women have a much higher rate of delayed menopause, increasing their odds to remain fertile into their later years.
As for the roach-bot, it was developed from scratch on a tight budget, which made it more difficult for researchers to complete the project. They could have purchased the gears for its legs from an Austrian company for $9,000, but their total budget was just $22,500.
Considering the hard work and money that went into this invention, one can only hope that an unknowing lab worker doesn’t see it scurry across the floor and instinctively step on it.