the Internet of Things [green]

Student Project for INDS 3B09: Design Research, Insights & Innovation
For the Industrial Design Department of the Ontario College of Art & Design,
team mentor Matthew Jones, Research Associate, Beal Centre for Strategic Creativity

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The New Almanac


Darpa is at it again, and this time they want to control insects. As if controlling the world's shark population wasn't enough, they are now accepting bids to design human controlled cyber-insects capable of sniffing out chemicals and explosives as well as conducting military reconnaissance. The bugs would be operated using micro-electro-mechanical systems inserted during the larva stage of metamorphosis.

I guess we'll have to wait and see if this is just another mechanical elephant ( or if insects are the new internet.

The Darpa method is fascinating, and they increasingly seem to operate many of their projects using this model - tell the market what you want, put the money on the table, and let the bidders sort out the technology. This allows for briefs that are optimistic to say the least, and while many of them fail from time to time they manage to physically cross the imagination gap. When the BBC asked the science community about the brief, the comments ranged from "ludicrous" to "I feel that the reality of such cyborg fusion between insect and machine lies squarely in the realms of fiction.", although one scientist was optimistic that engineering bugs to sniff out chemicals and explosives was not so far off.


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