Thursday, 17 October 2013

Roboroach: Control cockroach with app

A company has created an app that allows users to remote control a cockroach.

The Roboroach is an electric backpack that fits onto a cockroach and uses impulses - controlled through the smartphone app - to stimulate the bug's antenna, making it turn on command.

The firm behind the Roboroach is Michigan-based Backyard Brains and they are now selling DIY kits allowing anyone to use the technology at home.

To attach the backpack, users dip the bug into ice water to 'anaesthetise' it, then a patch of shell on its head is sanded and electrodes are stuck to it using superglue.

The groundwire is then inserted into the insect's thorax and the antennae is trimmed so silver electrodes can be placed into them.

Its makers claim it would make a great classroom aide to teach children about how the brain works.

Although they also insist the cockroaches are treated humanely, they risk a backlash from animal rights activists who say it is cruel.

The backpack was announced in 2011 before successfully achieving funding through a Kickstarter campaign this summer.

DIY kit starts at $99 (£62) and Backyard Brains said it will begin shipping them to arrive in November.

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