Russian scientists are designing a battalion of cyborg rats for the country’s future hybrid warfare. The rodents are currently being trained to sniff drugs and explosives from hard-to-infiltrate facilities. Microchips implanted in their brains will make them capable of reporting their findings straight to law enforcement. The first deployment of the cyborg rats may be against the ISIS to infiltrate and detect their hidden camps.
Russian scientists are implanting microchip into rats’ brains for further use in what Russia termed as “Next Generation Warfare,” Sputnik International reports. The scientists are currently in the process of perfecting the microchip that will make the rat capable of sending out signals from remotely hidden locations.
Three groups of Russian scientists are working together to design Russia’s future battalion of cyborg rats, Russia Behind The Headlines reports. The scientists are working from the Perception and recognition Neuro-technologies laboratory at the South Federal University in Rostov-on-Don, RBTH says in its report. The physiologists are training rats to sniff drugs and explosives, engineers are perfecting the instruments and programmers are designing mathematical algorithms that will interpret signals from the rats’ brain.
As soon as scientists perfected the microchip to be implanted on the animals’ brain, these cyborg rats will be more effective than dogs. They can be trained to differentiate between a dead or living person. This would be important during rescue operations. Dr. Dmitry Medvedev, the lead scientist, told the Daily Mail that unlike dogs, rats can get through the smallest cracks. “This way it could find its way deep under rubble and by its brain activity one could understand if there are for example, people who are still alive, if it’s worth clearing debris here or at another place, to rescue people more quickly,” Medvedev said.
Medvedev, however, noted one important drawback to the project: a rat can be trained two to three months while its life expectancy does not exceed one year. In prospective, when cyborg rats are eventually deployed, scientists would have to train multitudes of rats to keep the supply going. “Two to three months are needed in order to teach the animal to react to one substance while the lifespan of a laboratory rat is only about a year. We can’t use very young rats, and the old ones have already lost their sense of smell,” he explained.