Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (HI-MEMS) is a project of DARPA, a unit of the United States Department of Defense. Created in 2006, the unit's goal is the creation of tightly coupled machine-insect interfaces by placing micro-mechanical systems inside the insects during the early stages of metamorphosis.[1] After implantation, the "insect cyborgs" could be controlled by sending electrical impulses to their muscles.[2] The primary application is surveillance. The project was created with the ultimate goal of delivering an insect within 5 meters of a target located 100 meters away from its starting point.[3] In 2008, a team from the University of Michigan demonstrated a cyborg unicorn beetle at an academic conference in Tucson, Arizona. The beetle was able to take off and land, turn left or right, and demonstrate other flight behaviors.[4] Researchers at Cornell University demonstrated the successful implantation of electronic probes into tobacco hornworms in the pupal stage.[5]


  1. ^ Uppal, Rajesh (1 May 2019). "DARPA's HI-MEMS (Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) Created Cyborg Insects for Military Micro Air Vehicles Missions". International Defence, Security & Technology. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  2. ^ Thompson, Mark (18 April 2008). "Unleashing the Bugs of War". Time Magazine. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  3. ^ Kitchener, Gary (16 March 2006). "Pentagon plans cyber-insect army". BBC America. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  4. ^ Christensen, Bill (27 January 2008). "HI-MEMS: Cyborg Beetle Microsystem". Technovelgy.com. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  5. ^ Christensen, Bill (27 January 2008). "HI-MEMS: Control Circuits Embedded in Pupal Stage Successfully". Technovelgy.com. Retrieved 9 June 2020.