The clip bandies around terms - like neural microstimulation - that might suggest legitimate science is being done here, but there's also an undeniable appeal to people who dabble in cruelty.
And there's a bottom line.
The Michigan-based company behind RoboRoach - Backyard Brains - sells the complete kit for $99.99 on its website. Although the company didn't respond to requests for comment, its site does offer an online response to ethical concerns.
"While biology demonstrations 'for fun' should obviously not be done, given that our demonstrations are to teach science/physiology in an interactive way, we believe the animal experiment is of benefit," the company notes.
Besides, Backyard Brains claims later, the idea of sentience "is a stretch for insects and worms."
But what's the real lesson here?
That if you prick a cockroach, he will bleed? Or if you tickle him with electricity, he will dance?
Somewhere along the line, we suspect this product fails the most important life lesson of all: to treat animals, both great and small, with dignity and humaneness.
Cockroaches are complex and fascinating animals well worth studying. Whether they feel pain or not isn't the point here - but rather why we feel the need to turn them into robo-slaves to our smartphones, and call it a learning experience.
Want to let Backyard Brains know how you feel about RoboRoach? Get in touch with the company through its Facebook page.