Kickstarter goal reached for roach-controlling product

Updated Oct. 31, 2013 at 3:24 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 31 (UPI) -- A Michigan company said it has made its Kickstarter fundraising goal for a product designed to allow children to control cockroaches with their smartphones.

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."

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