Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Trouble with Insect Cyborgs

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Society & Animals

AbstractThis paper examines recent developments in the construction of insect cyborgs by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (darpa), a branch of the u.s. Department of Defense, as part of its Hybrid Insect Microelectromechanical Systems (hi-mems ) project. It takes a sociological approach in order to account for the processes involved in the creation of insect cyborgs, arguing that such creatures should be seen as the outcome of social, as well as technological, conditions. The paper critically reflects on the ethical implications of the hi-mems project and discusses the philosophical repercussions of treating insects as if they are machines.

Affiliations: 1: University of


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Alexander J. A. "Biological warfare defense and biological systems" 1999 DARPA Tech ’99 Conference Retrieved September 12, 2001, from:
2. Åsberg C. "Enter cyborg: Tracing the historiography and ontological turn of feminist technoscience studies" International Journal of Feminist Technoscience 2010 Retrieved January 20, 2012, from:
3. Bateson M. , Desire S. , Gartside S. , Wright G. A. "Agitated honeybees exhibit pessimistic cognitive biases" Current Biology, 21 2011 1070 1073 [Crossref]
4. Berger T. W. , Baudry M. , Diaz Brinton R. , Liaw J.-S. , Marmarelis V. Z. , Park A. Y. , Tanguay A. R. Jr "Brain-implantable biomimetic electronics as the next era in neural prosthetics" Proceedings of the IEEE 2001 Vol 89 7 993 1012 [Crossref]
5. Bonnet C. Œuvres d’histoire naturelle et de philosophie de Charles Bonnet Works of natural history and philosophy of Charles Bonnet 1781 Vol Vol. 4 Part 1 Neuchâtel Chez S. Fauche
6. Bozkurt A. , Gilmour R. , Stern D. , Lal A. " memsbased bioelectronic neuromuscular interfaces for insect cyborg flight control [precirculated collection of papers]" 2008 2008 21st IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS ) 160 163
7. Crist E. Images of animals: Anthropomorphism and animal mind 1999 Philadelphia Temple University Press
8. darpa "Hybrid Insect mems( hi-mems)" n.d. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from: [web page subsequently taken down by darpa]
9. darpa "Our work" n.d. Retrieved September 7, 2011, from: . Department of Defense/The White House (2011). The federal budget. Fiscal year 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2011, from:
10. Dilanian K. "Pentagon launches investigation into defense contracts" Los Angeles Times 2011 August 16 Retrieved September 7, 2011, from:
11. Fallows J. "The military-industrial complex" Foreign Policy, 133 2002 46 48 [Crossref]
12. FBO Daily 1999 July 14 Retrieved September 12, 2011 from:
13. FedBizOpps 2006 March 9 Retrieved September 7, 2011, from:
14. "Flight Plan 2011: Analysis of the U.S. Aerospace Industry" Office of Transportation and Machinery, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce 2011 Retrieved January 29, 2012, from:
15. Haraway D. Simians, cyborgs, and women: The reinvention of nature 1991 New York Routledge
16. Kitchener G. "Pentagon plans cyber-insect army" BBC News 2006 March 16 Retrieved September 7, 2001, from:
17. Kube C. R. , Zhang H. "Collective robotics: From social insects to robots" Adaptive Behavior 1994 Vol 2 2 189 218 [Crossref]
18. Lal A. " BAA 06-22 proposer information pamphlet[Brochure]" Contracts Management Office: Defense Advanced Research Agency 2006 Retrieved March 9, 2012, from:
19. Life in the Undergrowth BBC 2005 October 20 Retrieved September 20, 2011, from:
20. Lockwood J. A. Six-legged soldiers: Using insects as weapons of war 2009 Oxford Oxford University Press
21. Loeb J. The mechanistic conception of life 1912 Chicago University of Chicago Press [Crossref]
22. Military seeks to develop ‘insect cyborgs.’ The Washington Times 2006 March 13 Retrieved September 9, 2011, from:
23. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics " Defense science board task force on the roles and authorities of the director of defense research and engineering " Report 2005 Washington, D.C. Author
24. O’Toole C. Alien empire: An exploration of the lives of insects 1995 London BBC Books
25. Patra D. , Haribabu E. , McComas K. A. "Perceptions of nano ethics among practitioners in a developing country: A case of India" Nanoethics 2010 Vol 4 67 75 [Crossref]
26. Power H. Experimental philosophy, in three books containing new experiments: Microscopical, mercurial, magnetical: With some deductions, and probable hypotheses, raised from them, in avouchment and illustration of the now famous atomical hypothesis 1664 London John Martin & James Allestry
27. Rumsfeld D. "Secretary Rumsfeld speaks on “21st century transformation” of U.S. armed forces [transcript of remarks and question-and-answer period]" Remarks as delivered by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, National Defense University 2002 Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., Thursday, January 31, 2002. U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved September 9, 2011, from:
28. Sato H. , Berry C. W. , Maharbiz M. M. "Flight control of 10 gram insects by implanted neural stimulators" Solid-State Sensors, Actuators, and Microsystems Workshop 2008 90 91
29. Sato H. , Peeri Y. , Baghoomian E. , Berry C. W. , Maharbiz M. M. "Radio-controlled cyborg beetles: A radio-frequency system for insect neural flight control" mems2009 2009 216 219
30. Sato H. , Berry C. W. , Peeri Y. , Baghoomian E. , Casey B. E. , Lavella G. , VandenBrooks J. M. , Harrison J. F. , Maharbiz M. M. "Remote radio control of insect flight" Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 2009 Vol 3 1 11 [Crossref]
31. Sato H. , Maharbiz M. M. "Recent developments in the remote radio control of insect flight" Frontiers in Neuroscience 2010 Vol 4 1 12 [Crossref]
32. Sharkey A. J. C. "Robots, insects and swarm intelligence" Artificial Intelligence Review 2006 Vol 26 255 268 [Crossref]
33. Singer E. "TR10: Biological machines" Technological Review 2009 March/April Retrieved September 20, 2001, from:
34. Smith S. A. "Spineless wonders: Welfare and the use of invertebrates in the laboratory and classroom" ILAR Journal 2011 Vol 52 2
35. Weiss R. "Dragonfly or insect spy? Scientists at work on robobugs" The Washington Post 2007 October 9 Retrieved September 9, 2011, from:
36. Zerner C. Feldman I. , Ticktin M. "Stealth nature: Biomimesis and the weaponization of life" In the name of humanity: The government of threat and care 2010 Durham Duke University Press 290 324 [Crossref]

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Society & Animals — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation