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Cyborg Cockroaches

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Tagged As: Biology and Science

An interesting new toy was unveiled at TEDGlobal 2013, a robotic cockroach. The science kit allows users to implant an electronic backpack into the insect and sends electronic pulses into its antenna. Using a regular smartphone, a user can now drive the cockroach around. The inventor states, "This is the exact same technology that's used to treat Parkinson's disease and make cochlear implants for deaf people. If we can get these tools into hands of kids, we can start the neurological revolution." A lofty goal and objective indeed but a practical one using inexpensive technology. However, the process is causing some ethical controversy (excellent video in the linked page). "They encourage amateurs to operate invasively on living organisms" and "encourage thinking of complex living organisms as mere machines or tools."

The video below depicts a similar effort from earlier, not the current "kit" project to control with your phone like a toy.

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