Insects embedded with technology

Insects and technology have always been closely linked. Scientists and engineers continually look at insects for inspiration on wing design, vision and other characteristic. NASA Scientists are studying insects to improve their rover designs and planetary probes, and some of the most advanced air planes come from the way insects fly. The most manoeuvrable and efficient design features really do come from nature itself.


This type of design closely resembles musings from the sci-fi genre. Insects are frequently featured as robotic critters, either as alien invaders, or giant mutations. There are countless examples in TV, movies, video games, comic books and even music album covers.

Mike Libby, founder of the Insect Lab Studio had the idea of taking this notion of robotic critters one step further for the art world. In a steampunk-esque vision he has combined dead insects with pieces from old watches or other technology to create insectoid cyborgs.

While studying artificial intelligence at university we created virtual insect robots that would mimic behaviour of an insect colony and react to certain stimuli. This definitely brings a sci-fi representation of real-world elements to those lectures. I also feel that most of us at one point or another think about insects as not non-intelligent automaton running around, designed to annoy us. For me these art works are a sort of parody of that idea but highlights that insects are not menaces from sci-fi that pop culture would like us to think they are.

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