Image: A HI-MEMS enabled insect
Photographs: Courtesy: DARPA/US Army
The Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (HI-MEMS) is a project of Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a unit of the United States Department of Defence, with the goal of developing tightly coupled machine-insect interfaces by placing micro-mechanical systems inside the insects during the early stages of metamorphosis.

«The HI-MEMS is part insect, part machine. First, a micro-mechanical system is placed inside the insect during early stages of metamorphosis. The bugs operate similarly to a remote control car — the goal is to be able to control the bugs movement and location through the implanted microsystem,» the report states.

The primary application is surveillance and information gathering. HI-MEMS-derived technologies will enable many robotic capabilities at low cost, impacting the development of future autonomous defense systems