Twitter Roach: Control Cockroaches through Twitter

Fri 4 January 2013 10:00, Vitto Christaldi

Twitter Roach: Control Cockroaches through Twitter

What better way to show humans as rulers of the earth than controlling a cockroach through social media?

Twitter Roach, a cockroach that can be controlled through the popular microblogging service Twitter, was created by artist Britanny Ransom for the “Life, in some form” art exhibition by the Chicago Art Coalition.  This cockroach is controlled with a device called RoboRoach, an electronic backpack which is attached to the back of a cockroach that stimulates the bug’s antenna nerves, allowing controller to turn the insect left or right. During the art exhibition, visitor were allowed to control the cockroach by tweeting #TweetRoachLeft or #TweetRoachRight through @TweetRoach account. In order to give some rest to the cockroach, each command tweet was sent after a 30 second interval.

Britanny Ransom said the project was aimed to explore a kind of insectioid parallel to the digital as a reflection of the "overstimulation" us humans encounter in a digital world. The aim of this “art-display” is to see if the cockroach can learn to eventually learn to adapt and ignore the stimulating effects of the setup. The clip below will show you how the experiment goes:

Some people find this experiment an example of animal torture while others think of this as an art project that contributes to science. What do you think?

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