RoboRoach, a Kickstarter Project

The RoboRoach: Control a living insect from your smartphone! – [kickstarter.com]

What is the RoboRoach?

The RoboRoach is the world’s first commercially available cyborg! That’s right… A real-life Insect Cyborg! Part cockroach and part machine. This is not a gimmick… just good ol’ fashion neuroscience, evolution and engineering.

How does it work?

Our Roboroach is an innovative marriage of behavioral neuroscience and neural engineering. Cockroaches use the antennas on their head to navigate the world around them. When these antennas touch a wall, the cockroach turns away from the wall. The antenna of a cockroach contains neurons that are sensitive to touch and smell.

The backpack we invented communicates directly to the neurons via small electrical pulses. The cockroach undergoes a short surgery (under anesthesia) in which wires are placed inside the antenna. Once it recovers, a backpack is temporarily placed on it’s back.

When you send the command from your mobile phone, the backpack sends pulses to the antenna, which causes the neurons to fire, which causes the roach to think there is a wall on one side. The result? The roach turns! Microstimulation is the same neurotechnology that is used to treat Parkinson’s Disease and is also used in Cochlear Implants.

Comments are closed.