The remote-control cockroach
A US company has created an electronic ‘backpack’ that fits onto the back of a live cockroach and allows it to be controlled by a smartphone app.
Backyard Brains says the device has been created to get kids interested in neuroscience, but the company faces backlash from anti-cruelty critics.
The product, which launches today, works like this: place a live cockroach in icy water to subdue it, then use sandpaper to remove the waxy coating on the insect’s head. Its antennae are then cut and electrodes inserted. An electronic box fitted to the insect’s back allows users to control its movements using a phone app.
Sounds very humane, doesn’t it?
Backyard Brains is selling complete kits – including live cockroaches – from its website, if you’re the sort of person who liked pulling the wings off flies as a kid.
OK, I have spent some time at their website now and have looked at their Ethics Statement and viewed some of their videos.
From a more 'educated' position rather than an 'uneducated knee-jerk' position I now feel that this is meaningful and appropriate.
Don't forget, only a few years ago cosmetic companies were squirting shampoo into the eyes of monkeys to test if would sting the eyes of users...