The RoboRoach Kit Transforms Roaches into Remote-Controlled Cyborgs

Tuesday, June 25th 2013. | Robot

As if cockroaches are not creepy enough, some folks grouped in BackyardBrains attempt to develop The RoboRoach Kit that will help transform those walking terrors into a bunch of cyborgs one can control at his will. Armed with pretty decent knowledge in neuroscience, the team believes that they can manipulate the brain waves of such insects, allowing us humans to remote control them. As expected, the response for this project is well-mixed.

The RoboRoach: Control a living insect from your smartphone!

For those who agree, they think that it’s great way to introduce public to neuroscience, a field of expertise that is until now made exclusive for several groups of scientists backed up with enormous amount of cash. With the kit sold for just $100 (for early Kickstarter backers only), teachers and parents alike can physically show how the basic principal of neuroscience works without making any huge investment.

The RoboRoach Cyborg Cockroaches

The support also comes from any die-hard DIYers who just love to hack some stuff up to help them through their lonely weekends. Though the developers clearly say that it’s not a toy, I doubt if the members of such a community will take it for granted. They might just grab a nasty roach lurking under their sofa and perform the necessary installment procedure.

The RoboRoach Cyborg Cockroaches by Backyard Brains

Speaking of the procedure, the process seems to be quite complex though BackyardBrains claims that it can be accomplished within relatively short time. Explained by UK’s Wired, the process begins with you anesthetizing the roach by dipping it to ice water. You will then have to cut its antenna and clip a couple of electrodes – which is connected to a “backpack” – on them. Once the critter regains its consciousness, you can send the input via your handstand off it goes your first roach cyborg. Check out the video!

For the said procedure, the project has received negative response from the public. Some naturalists believe that by incising the roach antenna, they are actually killing the insects for it’s the critter’s primary sensory organ. While I don’t really have any objection if someone killing cockroaches either by stepping on them or slicing their antenna, it does look a little cruel. If Detective Ace Ventura was real, these guys would be in seriously deep trouble right now.

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