Kickstarting a Bluetooth-controlled cyborg cockroach


54 Responses to “Kickstarting a Bluetooth-controlled cyborg cockroach”

  1. Reed James says:

    Nice, have they also invented a more modern way to pull the wings off flys?

  2. joematango says:

    Perhaps I’m responding this way because someone is firing my neurons without my permission, but that misplaced apostrophe (“it’s”) makes me skeptical about they entire project. Sorry.

  3. sam1148 says:

    If you got a couple of thousand of them and painted them Red White and Blue.

    And dumped them out and controlled their movements to “Stars and Stripes For Ever” and have them form American Flags and Statue of  Liberty and other Icons.
    That would be pretty cool.

  4. Michael Senkow says:

    Awesome project, it is good to see hackerspace work that touches the biological realm. 

  5. hpplacra says:

    I find this fucking cruel. Hope this kickstarter fails but I don’t think it will.

    • Kimmo says:

      I’m pretty sure you’re wildly overestimating cockroaches’ capacity for suffering.

      • theophrastvs says:

        There’s a great lack of empathy in this cruel world; perhaps we shouldn’t discourage it even where it might be ill-placed  (and/or those that can torture bugs with a grin might become inured against the suffering of something that can suffer)

        • Kimmo says:

          Well, yeah, except I think it’s a bit of a stretch to call this torture, IMO.

          I’d certainly disapprove of treating any vertebrate or cephalopod etc like this just for shits and giggles, but I think it’s pretty safe to say insects are fair game.

          Alien little bastards. Fuck em.

          In fact, we should start eating billions of em like the Asians, most vegetarians included. Grasshoppers are meant to be pretty tasty.

          • Hillary Rettig says:

            of course you’re drawing an arbitrary distinction between insects and the rest of the animals. besides, what makes you think people who do this wouldn’t happily move on to other species?

            eating them would serve a purpose; this serves none other than sadism.

          • TheOven says:

             I’d be interested to know why you disapprove of treating vertebrates or cephalopod like this.

          • Kimmo says:

            The complexity of the nervous system, which should correlate with the capacity to suffer.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Perhaps you’d agree to be the control for some experiments.

    • BillStewart2012 says:

      It’s not like I don’t stomp on cockroaches if I encounter them, but yeah, being cruel to a living animal is unconscionable.  I’m surprised BoingBoing is presenting this in a supportive way.

      • anansi133 says:

         This. Killing a cockroach outright is one thing. Manipulating one in this way isn’t just mistreating animals, it’s *teaching* kids to mistreat animals.

    • Hillary Rettig says:

       I agree. What a crappy idea.

  6. Philboyd Studge says:

     You’re a monster, Zorg.

  7. benher says:

    Scientific Research ™ is one thing, but I don’t think I could support kickstarting a project whose creator seemingly holds such little reverence for life.

    • Josh Williams says:

      I have had a chance to sit in on some of the classes that used their hardware, I was amazed at the level of engagement the students had.

      I am fine if a few cockroaches don’t have the best outcome if it means helping inspire the next generation to further our understanding of how the brain works.

      • Hillary Rettig says:

        The enthusiasm of scientists for a line of research is no indicator whatsoever of that project’s morality.

        And what specific knowledge do you think that this grotesque exercise will further, that couldn’t be obtained without torturing the roaches?

        Oh right: the knowledge of how to cyber control and torment other animals, including humans for the military. (With bonus desensitization!)


      • TheOven says:

         To be honest, these cocks probably are living the roach equivalent of campaign wishes and caviar dreams. With the exception of having to wear a funny hat that keeps moving the walls around. I bet it’s not that bad.

  8. InventionsUp says:

    great invention

  9. Joseph Francis says:

    Brain and brain! What is brain? It is Controller, is it not? 

  10. DrNick says:

    Cockroaches may or may not experience pain, I don’t know. In some cases, such as research towards curing disease, under strict ethical oversight, there can be a case made for experimenting on living creatures.
    But as a scientist, the idea of doing this to a living creature for fucking entertainment disgusts me.  

  11. peregrinus says:

    Can we please keep this hidden from the NSA?

  12. dr says:

    Where do they get roaches that are so small and slow?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Which is “not much”.

      • PaloverdeShadows says:

        Yeah- it pretty much consists of, “We think this is useful. We’re sorry you’re uncomfortable with our violations of autonomy and principles of assuming sentience and practicing kindness. Nobody is forcing you to participate.” At least they acknowledge that people are uncomfortable and attempt to engage a discussion. 

  13. vonbobo says:

    Can I make two of them fight each other? Err.. science!

  14. Rachel H says:


  15. Carver says:

    I seem to be the only one thinking “cyborg cockroach? Why do we need to make cockroaches even more indestructible?!”

  16. unchikun says:

    abso-fucking-lutely disgusting. 
    (the people, not the cockroaches.)

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Another century and the roaches will be laughing at the ruins of our civilization. Them and Cher.

  17. Birches Leaves says:

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” -Ghandi

    “A SCOUT IS A FRIEND TO ANIMALS”  -Scout law #6


  18. PaloverdeShadows says:

    This is cruel and impractical. With great power comes great responsibility. Not liking a living thing does not give you the moral authority to take over its body and manipulate it for your amusement. 

     BoingBoing, please redact. 

  19. vauwor says:

    This is amoral, inhumane and abhorrent.  Why is it that we presume dominion over every single companion, however great or infinitesimal – indeed, every inch of matter – which we encounter?  What makes us more equal than the others?

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