In exactly two months a special device called RoboRoach will be on sale in the U.S. that allows people to control cockroaches from their smartphones. The set will cost about $90.
The Blaberus giant cockroach is not included, but is easily found in pet stores and from breeders: this variety is a popular food for exotic animals.
A tiny microcontroller is attached to the back of a live cockroach so that it touches its antennae. The smartphone is connected via BlueTooth. An app that directs the microcontroller lets you set the amplitude and type of impulses sent to the cockroach’s antennae.
RoboRoach, by Backyard Brains, is an educational project for studying the fundamentals of neurobiological experiments.
Earlier this summer a similar project was conducted at the University of North Carolina, although this didn’t focus on education, but rather more practical applications — search operations, for example.