Controlling the movements of a cockroach via your twitter account? Bizarre but true

Nothing can encroach on your peace like a roach, especially when you are at your unsuspecting most. That eerie moment when you have to stay with your eyes fixed upon the insect more out of aversion that the slightest fascination, gauging its next movement so that when it moves, you may be in a direction different altogether. Well, believe it or not, Brittany Ransom went ahead with an experiment where she can actually instruct a cockroach of its movements.
CockroachTwitter Roach-a discoid cockroach that can be controlled through tweets that it receives via the popular social platform. Robo Roach is a backpack of a device which attaches itself to the back of the cockroach’s back and then sends instructions to the insect by stimulating the nerves of the its antennae. Ransom built upon the Roboroach concept and added some Arduino hardware and custom-programmed software to link the bug to Twitter. Someone controlling the bug can direct the roach to move left or right through commands #TweetRoachLeft and #TweetRoachRight respectively. If it seems rather unkind on the cockroach, then the project designer Ransom informed Crave via e-mail that the cockroach wears the backpack controller for only short durations and that its availability on twitter is for certain periods of the day only. Moreover, the ‘entomobot’ (if you will) is kept from an overload of commands by allowing only one command per 30 peconds.
When asked what Brittany wished to achieve from such an unconventional and rather uncanny project, this is what she had to say: “At what point does its intelligence and ability take over? How much does it take before we are all desensitized to overstimulation? As we, as human beings, grow more cyborgian and interconnected through social media, this project helps us participate in discovering the answer.”

Via: Cnet


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