For the past couple months Teddy and Nate have been building spikerboxes for Backyard Brains, a group of people intent on making neuroscience kits that are fun, easy to use and affordable.
So, what exactly is a spikerbox?
A spikerbox is a little instrument that can detect neuronal activity, more specifically, the electrical pulses sent from neuron to neuron within the nervous system. The more common term for these pulses is a “spike,” hence the name, “Spikerbox.”
Spikerboxes can be used on cockroaches, leeches, and other organisms in order to read their neuronal activity. You can also use the spikerbox to manipulate the neurons by sending electrical charges of your own, as displayed in this video:
^^^ Click me! ^^^
In addition to the spikerbox, Backyard Brains also provides resources for other neuroscience experiments, one of which being RoboRoach. RoboRoach is a project concerning the neurons of a cockroach, and how it’s possible to use electricity to stimulate the antennae of the roach, and control its movement. In other words; a cyborg cockroach.
Now, that may sound difficult to some, but Backyard Brains has been kind enough to make an instructional video, detailing the steps required to turn an ordinary household cockroach into you own personal minion of revolting mischief.
If you want to get into this, you can buy Spikerboxes, RoboRoach kits, and even roaches of your own at the Backyard Brains official store! Good luck, and have fun!