Scientists from the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University in Russia have developed the prototype of a 100-percent machine cockroach robot.
The robot looks like an existing cockroach, acts like one and is the right size.
"Probably that was the most difficult part - to find balance between those three requirements," said the project's head engineer, Aleksey Belousov.
"For example Berkeley University has been working on their cockroach for the past four years, but they didn't have to make it look like an insect, so it's faster than ours," Belousov told ''.
"But it can't turn at speed and it doesn't look like a real cockroach at all," Belousov said.
The team studied a smaller species of cockroach, the Blabbers Craniifer, commonly known as 'death head' because of the pattern on its head that resembles a skull.
The robot is about 10cm long, moves with a speed of up to 30 cm per second (one-third the speed of a real cockroach), is equipped with light sensors, contact and non-contact probes that allow it to move without bumping into things.

So far it can work autonomously for 20 minutes, but the scientists plan to stretch that time. The robot will also get its own navigation system to allow users to programme its route.
The Russian military has already expressed interest in the robot as it can carry a weight of up to 10 grammes and could potentially carry portable cameras into enclosed spaces.


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