Locusts are thought to be a very harmful insect.
No one likes locusts. But it turns out that even this gluttonous pest of fields can be beneficial.
Commissioned by and sponsored by the United States Navy, a group of scientists at the University of Washington conducted research that showed that locusts are capable of smelling the presence or absence of explosives in any particular location.
The fact is that on the locust antennae there are supersensitive olfactory receptors and the electrical signal from the antennae enters the brain. This became the clue for scientists.
To turn the insect into a biorobot, they embedded tiny electrodes into the locust olfactory lobe of the locust brain, and extremely light sensors were attached to the insect’s body, which transmitted information about the activity of neurons in the olfactory system to the computer.
During the experiments, insects were placed in a special compartment where vapors of various types of explosives were injected. Observations showed that different substances make different groups of neurons activate. By this reaction in the brain of insects, it was possible to determine which explosives are in the air and whether they exist at all.
The probability of detecting traces of explosives in the air is up to 80%. A good result for a grasshopper!