'The world's first commercially available cyborg,' the RoboRoach is a cockroach fitted with a backpack that lets smartphone users control its movements.
This is a roach with a higher calling: You.
Billed as the “world's first commercially available cyborg,” the RoboRoach debuted Monday on a Kickstarter page looking to raise $10,000 for the project by next month.
The project of Backyard Brains, a startup company of scientists and engineers headed by neuroscientists Greg Gage, the RoboRoach allows smartphone users to control a cockroach’s movements with a downloadable app. Yes, there’s an app for that.
Cockroaches use antennas packed with neurons to navigate their world, the campaign page explains. For example, when those antennas touch a wall, the neurons fire to the brain and instruct the roach to turn left or right, rather than pressing on in a hopeless show of resistance to human engineering.