Every few years, cockroaches find themselves conscripted into humanity’s ongoing endeavours to build proper cyborgs. And this example from Instructables may be the cheapest venture yet. A user calling themselves bravoechonovember1 recently released guidelines on how to control a roach with an Arduino for under £30, a figure that does not doesn’t appear to include the cost of acquiring said insects first.

Nitpicking aside, the process itself seems relatively simple, if rather gruesome. The first step is to assemble a “backpack,” which consists of sheet aluminium cut into a rectangular shape, pin connectors, and wires. Then comes the actual surgical procedure.

You’ll need to anaesthetise your cockroach by submerging it into ice water before sanding down the top of its thorax (the bit between its neck and abdomen), attaching your Arduino, and trimming the antennae so you can insert wires into the hollows. Finally, and perhaps most disconcertingly, you’ll have to insert another wire into the creature’s thorax, by means of first creating a perforation with a pin. Ouch.

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