cockroaches

Cockroaches are widely despised. They're attracted to filth. They frighten people, even give them nightmares.

But for a team of scientists at Texas A&M University, the roach is a hero: the first animal that humans might successfully transform into a robot, a hybrid of insect and machine that we can send anywhere to be our eyes and ears.

The Perfect Roach

Professor Hong Liang opens the door to a small laboratory with hundreds, maybe thousands, of cockroaches. It's not for the faint of heart.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is "West Side Story" - on six legs. Dr. Mark Stoeckle, who's a researcher at Rockefeller University, says that New York cockroaches can be just about as territorial as the sharks and the jets. He joins us from the studios of the Radio Foundation on the Upper West Side. Thanks so much for being with us.

MARK STOECKLE: It's good to be here. Thank you.

SIMON: So are cockroaches as native to New York as poppy seed bagels?