DIY Neuro cyborgs at the Waag

Come explore DIY neurology on 4 April 2014! We make some easy hacks: take control over someone else's arm, hear a neuron spike and build your own cyborg.

How does our brain work? Has neurology turned into a design discipline? We invite designers, artists, (neuro)scientists and hackers to join us in exploring the current state of the art in do-it-yourself neurology. Some easy hacks you can make yourself, for example simple arduino electronics that help you take control over someone else’s arm.

Everyone is a neuroscientist

This evening program will start with a short introduction on brain imaging by Martijn Steenwijk (PhD candidate at VU University Medical Center). Next, you will engage in a hands-on workshop and explore neuroscience with the Do-It-Yourself kits of BackyardBrains. You will build your own equipment and tinker with interactions between nerve physiology and electronics; listen to how real neuron “spikes” with a neuron amplifier. Measure and experiment with axon signal speed as a true neuroscientist.


As the evening progresses we move towards cyborg technologies. The DIY EMG setup will connect the nerves of one participant with the muscles of another. Finally, we explore how transhumanists use neuro technology to blur the lines between biology and machines. In the experimental part we will build our own cyborgs, with remote controlled cockroaches as a model.