Rats steered by a computer up to 500 yards away could soon help find buried earthquake victims or dispose of bombs, scientists said on Wednesday.

The remote-controlled “roborats” can be made to run, climb, jump or turn left and right through the use of electrical probes, the width of a hair, implanted in their brains. Movement signals are transmitted from a computer to the rat’s brain via a radio receiver strapped to its back.

One electrode stimulates the “feelgood” center of the rat’s brain, while two other electrodes activate the cerebral regions which process signals from its left and right whiskers.