Backyard Brains aims to let you conveniently remote control those cockroaches that hang out around your house with their new product, RoboRoach—and it's set to go on sale just next month for $99.99.
After some "surgery," users can place an electronic backpack on a cockroach, then use their smartphones to over stimulate the insect, which will cause the cockroach to either move left or right. The project was started way back in 2010 by founders Greg Gage and Tim Marzullo, but beta kits of the RoboRoach have been out for awhile, letting Gage and Marzullo perfect the device up until now. Yet, for some reason, the cockroaches can only be controlled for a short while, until they learn to ignore the signals coming from the battery on their backs. Once the insect stops responding to the user's commands, user's can opt to "retire" the cockroach—which is code for sending it to Belize. PETA, though, feels as if Backyard Brains is using the insects like toys. "To be disrespectful of life forms because they are small and we do not fully understand them or appreciate their place in the larger scheme of things is wrong," said a PETA representative. "It is retrogressive and morally dubious.”
Want to preorder RoboRoach? Check it out on Backyard Brains' website.