Searching for survivors in a building destroyed by an earthquake is a very difficult task. Looking for a sign of life in the very small of spaces is quite a challenge. We probably need mini robots that can search in remote areas but building such kind of robots itself is a huge challenge to ask for.
However, Engineers from North Carolina State University has come up with an alternate by developing remote control cockroaches and using real cockroaches for work.
A team of scientists led by Alper Bozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical engineering have attached sensors onto the back of Madagascar hissing cockroaches which contains a micro-controller with a lightweight, low-cost commercial available chip and a wireless receiver and transmitter. The micro-controller ensures proper interaction between implanted electrodes and the tissue to avoid neural damage.
The cockroaches can be controlled by using the micro-controller which stimulates the sensory organs of the roaches and makes them think someone is coming from behind and to rush away rapidly from there. The scientists have been successful for guiding remote control cockroaches in curved lines.