The creepiest part of Minority Report, for Machetera at least, besides perhaps the part where the extracted eyeballs went rolling toward the sewer drain, was when the little mechanical insects were unleashed inside the apartment where a recently blinded Tom Cruise was hiding underwater in the bathtub, trying to hold his breath until they left. Which didn’t work, as you knew it wouldn’t. Yeah, THAT scene.
Creepy because it was true.
Rosa Miriam Elizalde – Rebelión
While Venezuela is being criminalized as a country interested in international espionage and a campaign against its Simón Bolívar satellite is moving forward, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – the same one that created the Internet – has officially announced its advances in projects to make hybrid insects for use in surveillance missions.
DARPA has managed to develop several types of cyborg – organisms half biological and half machine – from which the movement of the insects can be completely controlled, by inserting microscopic chips in the larvae. When the insect reaches the adult stage, it can be used to listen in on conversations, detect explosives or carry out surveillance missions by remote control.
According to a statement by Amit Lal, the senior manager of DARPA’s HI-MEMS project (Hybrid Insect Micro-Electronic Mechanics) project, “These early stages include the caterpillar and the pupae stages. Since a majority of the tissue development in insects occurs in the later stages of metamorphosis, the renewed tissue growth around the MEMS will tend to heal, and form a reliable and stable tissue-machine interface. The goal of the MEMS, inside the insects, will be to control the locomotion by obtaining motion trajectories either from GPS coordinates, or using RF, optical, ultrasonic signals based remote control.”
“The cyborgs,” the statement adds, “which could carry one or more sensors, such as a microphone or a gas sensor, to relay back information gathered from the target destination. HI-MEMS derived technologies will enable many robotic capabilities at low cost, impacting the development of future autonomous defense systems.” (Read espionage.)
This type of device has already been used to conduct surveillance of demonstrators at protests against the war in Iraq, according to a complaint that was published in an article titled “Dragonfly or Insect Spy” in the Washington Post, in October 2007.
Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.