Bug Master: DIY Kit Lets You Control Tiny Cockroach Minds

Most of us, upon seeing a cockroach in our homes, will call the exterminator or buy a can of bug spray. But if the evil geniuses at Backyard Brains have anything to say about it, we will soon be strapping little remote control backpacks onto the pests and forcing them to do our bidding. Their RoboRoach Kit attaches to roaches and lets you control their movements…about 25% of the time. (CAUTION: If you are very sensitive to the welfare of insects you may find the below video disturbing.)

The tiny backpack works by delivering electrical impulses to the roach’s antennae nerves, which direct it to turn one way or the other. The catch is that it only works on about one-quarter of roaches currently; Backyard Brains is hoping that the effectiveness will increase with future generations. And when it does, maybe we can look forward to tiny, disgusting little cyborg cockroach armies taking over kitchens everywhere.

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See more in Cybernetics or under Technology. March, 2011.