Is this ok??

Posted on Updated on

Hello lovely digifest readers,

I was having a little browse and came across a slightly terrifying toy/’teaching tool’ called The Roboroach which started its life on popular crowdfunder Kickstarter.

https://backyardbrains.com/products/roboroach

RoboRoach

Credit: backyardbrains.com

These guys have basically developed an electronic device that allows anyone to control the movements of a real live cockroach using their mobile phone app.  Backyard Brains claim this is a tool designed to pique, children’s interests in neuroscience…really?

There is a little procedure everyday punters must first operate on the animal, involving submersion in ice water, sanding, using a needle to make a small hole in the thorax to insert a wire and the cutting off of the antennae and the insertion of electrodes.  Now, I realise a lot of people anthropomorphise animals rather freely due in large part to Bambi, however, this still seems a bit wrong on a purely moral level right?  Fair enough using animals for the advancement of medicine but this toy can surely not stand behind such a argument.  Yeah it’s just a cockroach, their not very intelligent or cute but then where does one draw the line?  Will we be seeing remote control chinchillas soon?

Let us know what you think in the comments and take our poll  =)

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