Twitter Roach Lets You Control Insects With Tweets

City dwellers and insect phobes take note: there’s finally hope in the centuries-long human fight against cockroaches.

Artist Brittany Ransom has created Twitter Roach, a discoid cockroach that can be controlled through tweets.

Ransom built upon the concept of a device called Roboroach – a tiny electronic backpack that attaches to a cockroach’s back and stimulates its antenna nerves, enabling the controller to turn the insect right or left with the press of a button.

With the addition of custom-programmed software, Ransom linked the bug to Twitter.

While on display at the “Life, in some form” art exhibition by the Chicago Artists Coalition, visitors could send the @TweetRoach account commands such as “#TweetRoachLeft” and #TweetRoachRight.”

To avoid a flood of commands, Ransom set the cockroach to receive no more than one tweet every 30 seconds.

So what’s the point of the project? Other than the awesome benefit of controlling the pesky insects that give you a mini-heart attack when you see one scrambling up your shower wall at 7 a.m. while you’re getting ready for work?

Ransom told CNET that she’s exploring an insectoid parallel to the digital overstimulation many of us experience today. She wants to determine if, like humans, the cockroach can learn to adapt and ignore the stimulating effects of her setup.

We’d love to add some more implications:

-You could use Twitter Roach to scare the bejeezus out of a friend or sibling.

-You could rely on Twitter Roach to entertain your cat while you’re gone for the day.

-Once you attach a Twitter Roach pack to one cockroach, you could use your tweets to corral all the cockroaches in that guy’s posse and shepherd them out of your apartment.

Anything to add to that list? What would you use Twitter Roach for?

(Twitter Roach image via Brittany Ransom)

Publish date: December 27, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT