Backyard Brains said its Kickstarter donation page received $12,339 in donations, exceeding its $10,000 goal, to develop the RoboRoach, which allows the users to implant electrodes in real living roaches and control them with a smartphone app, WWJ-TV, Detroit, reported Thursday.
Greg Gage of Backyard Brains said the product is designed to get children interested in the study of neural circuits.
"Twenty percent of the world will have a neurological disorder with no known cure and so what we are trying to do is get kids interested in neuro-science at an early age and we can actually capture those kids and turn them into neuro-scientists and actually help us cure these diseases," Gage said.
However, Jared Goodman, a lawyer for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said the group believes the product should be outlawed because it promotes practicing veterinary medicine without training or a license.
"This cruel and inhumane product instructs children to, without anesthesia, sand down various parts of a living cockroach's body," Goodman said. "They stab a syringe through the animal, force electrodes into the animal, and superglue apparatuses to the inside and the outside of the cockroach's body."