I have always taken the position the only good cockroach is a dead cockroach.  Even as an ordained minister, I changed my theology—Satan did not enter the garden as a serpent; he came as a cockroach!

Well, there may be some redemption for cockroaches after all.  At least that’s the way Ben Epstein sees it.  He is the vice president at OpCoast, a Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, defense contractor.

Olga Kharif reports in Bloomberg Businessweek on the astounding tasks OpCoast is getting these bugs to perform (“A Bug’s Life In the Trenches” 7/2/12–7/8/12, p. 34):

“The goal is to use the insects to communicate with people trapped in collapsed buildings, mines, and other areas rescuers can’t easily reach.  The insects might also conduct surveillance. . . . On its belly, each roach carries a dime-size circuit board along with a radio, a microphone, and a battery. . . . As the bugs crawl into crevices and disperse, their microphones pick up sounds, while the radios transmit data via a local-area wireless [network].”

OpCoast believes in equal opportunity employment.  It plans to expand the research into smaller types of insects.  This is very doable as technology miniaturization occurs.

Well, just about the time I’d given up on cockroaches, along comes OpCoast!  Hey, if there’s hope for cockroaches, then maybe there’s hope for–

(I’ll let you fill in the blank on that one!)

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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