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Cockroach Nascar: More Than Left Turns! Olivier’s Project is Ramping Up!

Hey, it’s Olivier*! Since I last posted a few developments have occured. First off, I have excelled in the surgical prep portion of my project so much so that I am able to perform two surgeries within the span of an hour and then I can give them a two hour rest so that I can run experiments in the afternoon. It’s all about efficiency! *(Editor’s Note: aka Welcome to the O-Zone)

Speaking of those experiments I finally achieved forward movement of the cockroaches using a function generator! A function generator is this magical box which sends electricity at a desired frequency, amplitude, pulse duration, and pulse width; the flow of electricity can also be sent out continuously or in short bursts. I made a breadboard circuit to help control the stimulation from the function generator to the cockroach so that I can control which cerci are activated. In the case of forward movement it’s both cerci that are stimulated. A white three-pronged leash attaches to the electrode (white glove like cable, instead of the bluetooth backpack) and to the breadboard (rectangular structure with wires protruding from it). If anyone is wondering the KitKat IS necessary for an organism’s sustenance… just not the cockroach’s… I need a break every once and awhile…