Cockroaches to Help in Hostage Situations?

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A hated household pest may prove to actually be a hero, and it's all thanks to the folks from North Carolina State University Wolfpack.

Engineers at the school are outfitting cockroaches with tiny computer chip backpacks.

The device can control the insect's path and be fitted with a microscopic camera and microphone.

Scientists hope to use the bugs in hostage situations and search-and-rescue operations.

"Time is critical. The golden hour for victims is critical for the survivability rate," explained Deputy Chief of Special Operations Doug Nakama.

"The insect thinks there's an obstacle in front and tries to avoid it," added NCSU engineering professor Alper Bozkurt.

The device works by stimulating the cockroach's antenna.

Despite objections from some animal rights groups, scientists stress the insects do not have feelings nor pain sensors.

Photos and video courtesy of North Carolina State University.

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