By now most people who follow the news are aware of the "Robo-rats" developed by Sanjiv Talwar at State University of New York in New York City. A rat's brain is wired with electrodes that simulate the signals from its whiskers, telling it to turn left, turn right, go back, or go forward. Another wire is connected to the pleasure center of the rat's brain, rewarding it for obeying commands. This turns the rat into a remote-control automaton, a living machine. Many have pointed out the ethical and moral problems this poses, but few knew just how bad it could become.

A company called Deus Bioengineering has begun experimenting with applying this technology to humans. A troubled employee of the secretive firm faxed us some internal memos that obviously were never meant to see the light of day. These memos describe a program called R.C.H.D., which stands for Remote Control Human Drones. They describe how companies needing workers to perform dangerous and unpleasant tasks could control a workforce of human robots with a joystick. Here is a direct quote from that memo. "People whom society ignores, such as mentally challenged, homeless, drifters, and prisoners would be the first to draft for this. Up to now, such undesirables have been of no use, but we can make them productive. Instead of only exiting the pleasure center of the brain, the pain centers could also be wired. This would allow a manager at the controls to virtually whip the drones if they stop working, or are too slow, much like an old-time taskmaster. The R.C.H.D. program could also be sold to the military as a way to create the perfect soldier they have always dreamed of. One that would not hesitate, or ever question orders. One that would never desert or retreat. Since enlisted men are legally government property, the military could do this with impunity. The opportunities for profit from this technology are staggering."

We have learned that Energon Thermodynamics, a company intending to build treadmill farms where people walking would generate electricity, has already expressed interest in R.C.H.D.

We read this in a memo from Energon to Deus. "The immigrants and unskilled laborers we plan to utilize might be prone to slowing down and even stopping without such a technology. That would cut into our profit margins. Under remote control, however, they could be made to march at a brisk pace, generating much more electricity, and shareholder value, for longer periods."

Considering the danger that the invention of "Robo-rats" has created, We can only hope that the use of such technology is banned.

UPDATE: Remote control humans are no longer science fiction, but a reality. In Japan, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation has invented a headset that controls people's movements with an electric current to the ears. This MSNBC article fails to consider the dark possibilities of such technology.