"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.