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Cockroach-controlled Mobile Robot #2
(Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine)

Garnet Hertz
Giant Madagascan Hissing Cockroach, Custom Electronics/Aluminum

"Cockroach-controlled Mobile Robot #2 (Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine)" uses a living Madagascan hissing cockroach atop a modified trackball to control a three-wheeled mobile robot. Infrared sensors also provide navigational feedback to the insect to create a semi-intelligent system, with the cockroach as the robot's CPU.

Garnet Hertz is a Canadian media artist, and is currently pursuing a PhD on the history/philosophy of the "living machine". He a Fulbright Scholar, a Research Fellow at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, and has completed the interdisciplinary Arts Computation Engineering program and the Critical Theory Emphasis at the University of California Irvine. Hertz's current robotic work consists of developing hybrid insect/machine systems, taking cybernetic-inspired forms as an origin to analyze contemporary developments in "cyborg" existence: artificial life, body modification, biorobotics, genetic engineering and posthuman theory. He has shown this work at SIGGRAPH, and also is founder of Dorkbot-Socal, a monthly lecture series. Popular press about his work is widespread, disseminating through 25 countries including The New York Times, I.D. Magazine, The Washington Post, USA Today, NBC, CBS, ZDTV and CNN Headline News.

Acknowledgements: Support for this work provided by: Canada Council for the Arts, Saskatchewan Arts Board, Canada-U.S. Fulbright Foundation, California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology and the Arts Computation Engineering Program of the University of California Irvine. Special thanks to Tom Jennings and Simon Penny for assistance in this project.

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