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Are cockroaches the hot new toy this Christmas?

3 years ago

2 parents have answered

Anthony Flower
Anthony Flower Father of three & web developer Christchurch, GB

I read about this a couple of weeks ago, what a horrible idea and a terrible thing to teach children. We teach our children to respect all life, from other people down to the tiniest of bugs.

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Opinion 3 years ago
Tom Baker writer
Tom Baker Staff Writer Derby, UK

Yeah, you heard me. Or read me? This December your kids might just be clamouring for a cockroach. Well, not exactly a cockroach, but an electronic device that attaches to the indestructible bug and lets the user control them with a smartphone app. Back in my day we were fine with Tracy Island (or the Blue Peter alternative).

'RoboRoach', as its creators imaginatively named it, is a £62 ($99) piece of electronics that sends a jolt to the nerves of the cockroaches antennae, making it think it's hit an obstacle, letting users to direct it. To install the controller people are instructed to numb the bug in ice water, sand its back a little, then drill a hole down into the thorax to insert a wire.

Which, to be honest, is pretty gross. Unsurprisingly, it's gotten some backs ups, with accusations of animal cruelty being levied at the project. Difficult to argue with, although the makers claim that the Kickstarter-funded product. gives people hands-on experience with neuroscience, something they reckon is 'woefully under-taught' in biology classes these days. An professor of philosophy, meanwhile, says the RoboRoach will 'encourage amateurs to operate invasively on living organisms' and teach people to think of insects as 'mere machines or tools'.

What do you think? Cruel or cool? Will your kids wake up to find a cockroach under the tree this December 25?

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Opinion 3 years ago

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