A few years ago I saw Backyard Brains' smartphone controlled cockroach, and it just blew my mind! I tried to get my mom to let me buy it, but the mention of cockroaches convinced her otherwise. :) I started doing projects with the Arduino a few years later. I remembered how much I wanted to do the cockroach experiment, so I convinced her that cockroaches weren't gross at all. Then I ordered a couple of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. Once they arrived, I started coding, testing, recoding, retesting. Finally I found out how to do everything right and temporarily change the cockroach's behavior as you will see in this video:
This is not a toy it is a scientific experiment to teach neuroscience. It is similar to someone getting a cochlear implant (which has returned hearing to more than 324,000 people.) Cockroaches can regenerate lost antennae and limbs. The cockroaches in this project were fully anesthetized during the “surgery.” Everything I did is reversible and was reversed at the end of the experiment. Also, I used Cyanoacrylate (super glue) in this project but it isn’t harmful because a similar chemical was used in the Vietnam War to seal wounds on humans.