Ransom debuted her Twitter-Remote-Controlled Cockroach as part of the “Life, in some form” exhibit by the Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC).
Ransom used the RoboRoach control circuit – a tiny robotic backpack weighing just 5.5 grams – which is connected to the cockroach’s antennae to allow stimulation of the insect’s nerves making it believe it has bumped into something. This then causes the cockroach to change its direction.
Twitter users were able to control the insect’s movements by sending @TweetRoach commands using the hashtags #TweetRoachLeft and #TweetRoachRight.
Ransom wrote in an email to CNET: “As we, as human beings, grow more cyborgian and interconnected through social media, this project helps us participate in discovering the answer.”
But is Ransom’s exhibit artistic genius or scientific madness?