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RoboRoach - How To Turn A Simple Cockroach Into A Spying Cyborg?


We at Jammer-Store always try to monitor all the latest inventions and gadgets, that can pose danger to our privacy. And the gadget we will tell about today — is a prominent example of how a thing that looks rather safe and even a little silly, may turn into powerful spying tool.

Backyard Brains

That gadget is actually a Kickstarter project and it was announced a couple of days ago. It is called RoboRoach and made by a small stratup – Backyard Brains. What's the main idea here? Anyone who would like to put those simple cockroaches to a good use, will be able to get a badge of electronic components, that can be attached to cockroach's back and control it with your Android or iOS based smartphone.

Looks impossible, doesn't it? But idea is really simple and well known. First of all you should understand that the bug navigates mainly with help of its tendrils, they are highly sensitive. It can detect obstacles, other bugs and predators with help of those. To keep it simple, let's say that those tendrils work like that: they touch things and the bug knows, that there is an obstacle. If it touches it with the left tendril, instinct tell him to turn right, in order to go around it, it also works vice versa.


Communication device

The device they've invented communicates directly with neurons, which are in the bug's tendrils with help of small electrical pulses, identical to those, those neurons send, when tendrils touch something. So you will have to attach a backpack to the cockroach's back and put the wires inside those antennas. We should mention here that cockroaches have a rather primitive neural system, thanks to which they do not feel pain, also, all that surgery goes under anesthesia. Anyway, at the end of the procedure you will have an augmented cockroach, ready to spy for you.

Small gadget

The gadget itself is the small electronic board with 3 electrodes and Li-Ion battery pack. The whole thing weights 4.5 grams. Battery can power the device within 12 hours and it gives power to the wireless communications module and small electrical pulses, transmitted to the neurons. There is no reason to use bigger battery because in 12 hours the bug will adapt to the device and will simply ignore it.

Also, the deice has a pretty powerful Wi-Fi/Bluetooth interface, thanks to which you will be able to control the bug via smartphone, but you have to be careful, because overusing your Bluetooth module may endanger the data, stored on your smartphone, hackers may get it!


RoboRoach is a serious tool

Developers say that RoboRoach is not a toy, it is a serious tool for brain activities study. But it also may be use for spying, attach a small camera and a bigger battery and you will have an extra small spying robot, and it is also alive!

Jamming device

That's why it will be really useful to get something for protection! As long as those bugs are controlled with 2.4 GHz frequency signals – they can be blocked with a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth jamming device. So nobody will be able to use those guys for spying and other, non-scientific goals.

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