Crime-fighting Japanese robo-insects are the future

Skinbook says it exists for "genuine nudists only"

A Japanese scientist is planning to create robotic insects that could get involved with crime fighting, landmine clearing and difficult rescues.

Such robots would have artificial electronic reproductions of highly evolved insect brains, reports The Telegraph.

The pioneer behind the project is Professor Ryohei Kanzaki, from Tokyo University's Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology, and he compares the potential feat to a jigsaw puzzle that he has the pieces for.

He's a pretty clever chap having studied insect brains for 30 years and his team has already genetically modified a male silkmoth so that it reacted to light instead of smell. Clever stuff.

Other Weird Tech news

The most bizarre accessories roundup of the week has to be Wired's Killer Accessories for Your Guns collection. Aimed at the US perchance? There's a clip-on coffee cup holder, temperature sensors to compensate for the density of the air, an on-gun iPhone cradle and an app to calculate the effects of factors such as windage. Class.

iPhone on a gun

Also this week, a naked rival to Facebook has, er, revealed itself. According to the Metro newspaper, Skinbook describes itself as 'The No.1 Social Network for Genuine Nudists & Naturists'. It already has over 6,000 members. Users can post photos and read the 'naked blog.' Lovely. Co-creator Karl Maddocks, 24, told the paper that Skinbook existed to make people less prudish about their bodies: "Get your kit off and feel good about yourself."

Talking of nudity, here's an interactive exhibit with a difference. Visitors to the Amora Sex Academy can play with naked dummies to perfect their sexual technique by fiddling with their erogenous zones. The exibit opened in Berlin on Thursday. Easyjet flies to Berlin Schoenefeld, just so you know.

A couple of very strange iPhone 3GS videos have appeared this week – first up is the chap that drops Apple's all-new Jesus-phone in a hotel pool while filming his mates. Idiotic perhaps, but it seems the film is still rolling as he plucks it out. Check it out below.

The second iPhone 3GS crazy-vid? Well it seems that people will go to some funny lengths to get a YouTube hit. Here's the handset on the bottom of a small plane. Some of it looks a bit incongruous to us, but it's worth a gander.

And if you're looking for something to shoot (just kidding), GPS is being fitted to puffins in the Farne Islands to track their movements and better understand why their numbers are declining so much. The population on the islands dropped from 56,000 in 2003 to 36,000 in 2008.

And finally this week, the next hacking frontier could indeed be your own brain. Researchers at the University of Washington believe that, because tech has been developed to transfer brain activity onto computers, there's no reason why other neural activity can't be read. The scientists have put together a paper on the topic of "neurosecurity," a term the group coined to talk about their work.


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Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.