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I want to modify a cockroach to get it to trigger a conductive ink sensor or Arduino with foil capacitive touch setup.

At the moment there is no reaction as far as I can see (in the serial monitor)

I was wondering about spraying it with water to make it wetter? Or modifying its feet somehow? Maybe some little shoes? :)

Alternatively, suggestions of better insects?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just use metal cockroaches like everyone else. Do not make them able to self-replicate, pro tip. \$\endgroup\$ – Harper Nov 30 '17 at 23:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ You want to modify the cockroach? Why not modify the sensor so it works with off-the-shelf cockroaches? \$\endgroup\$ – immibis Nov 30 '17 at 23:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Please provide part number and electrical datasheet for the cockroach in question. \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Nov 30 '17 at 23:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Spray it with conductive paint. \$\endgroup\$ – Steve G Nov 30 '17 at 23:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Mutant radioactive cockroaches. \$\endgroup\$ – peufeu Dec 1 '17 at 0:20
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I doubt you'll have much luck with resistive sensing - the chitin shell and legs of an insect will have a very high resistance. Any voltage high enough to give reasonable current is likely to cook the little buggers. Not that that's a bad thing, of course.

By the same token, I'm dubious about the capacitance, as well.

I'd suggest a different approach, such as optical sensing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Optical sensors are not allowed :) \$\endgroup\$ – Atticus Dec 1 '17 at 9:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ (that would be cheating) :) ... and in fact, ideally ink sensor not foil. I guess a trailing silver wig to bridge across two ink contact points might work... But is conductive ink a resistive touch mechanism then, not capacitive touch? Isn´t resistive touch about force not conductivity? \$\endgroup\$ – Atticus Dec 1 '17 at 9:10
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If it were me, I would try increasing the sensitivity of the capacitive sensor.

Actually increasing the sensitivity of a conductive ink sensor might work too. I would expect insects to have a relatively high resistance, so you'd have to really send a high voltage through the sensor to see a response.

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Try one of these... maybe with aluminum foil booties.

enter image description here

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