A tiny cockroach no bigger than a large paper clip scurries across the floor of my bio-engineering lab at the University of Connecticut, Mansfield, CT, USA. It is a robot-roach hybrid, a hardwired biological insect, a cyborg if you will, and its future high-tech brethren may one day save your life. The use of insects as platforms for small robots has an incredible number of useful applications from search and rescue to national defense.
Abhishek Dutta is an assistant professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Connecticut, and affiliated to the United Technologies Corporation–Institute of Advanced Systems Engineering. He received the master’s degree from the University of Edinburgh, the doctorate degree from Ghent University, and the postdoctoral degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He leads high-risk, multidisciplinary, and transformative research in biological robotics and neural engineering.