Locomotion control of hybrid cockroach robots. Academic Article uri icon


  • Natural systems retain significant advantages over engineered systems in many aspects, including size and versatility. In this research, we develop a hybrid robotic system using American (Periplaneta americana) and discoid (Blaberus discoidalis) cockroaches that uses the natural locomotion and robustness of the insect. A tethered control system was firstly characterized using American cockroaches, wherein implanted electrodes were used to apply an electrical stimulus to the prothoracic ganglia. Using this approach, larger discoid cockroaches were engineered into a remotely controlled hybrid robotic system. Locomotion control was achieved through electrical stimulation of the prothoracic ganglia, via a remotely operated backpack system and implanted electrodes. The backpack consisted of a microcontroller with integrated transceiver protocol, and a rechargeable battery. The hybrid discoid roach was able to walk, and turn in response to an electrical stimulus to its nervous system with high repeatability of 60%.

published proceedings

  • J R Soc Interface

altmetric score

  • 286.534

author list (cited authors)

  • Sanchez, C. J., Chiu, C., Zhou, Y., Gonzlez, J. M., Vinson, S. B., & Liang, H.

citation count

  • 47

complete list of authors

  • Sanchez, Carlos J||Chiu, Chen-Wei||Zhou, Yan||Gonz├ílez, Jorge M||Vinson, S Bradleigh||Liang, Hong

publication date

  • April 2015