About "Backyard Brains"

As grad students at the University of Michigan, co-founders Tim and Greg often interacted with schoolchildren during neuroscience outreach events. We often wanted to show real "spiking" activity to students, but this was impossible due to the high cost of equipment. By using off-the-shelf electronics, we designed kits that could provide insight into the inner workings of the nervous system.

Our first product, the Spikerbox, uses invertebrates to help you learn about how the cells in the brain work to communicate. We have also launched an EMG SpikerBox that you can use to record electrical activity produced by cells in human muscles. All of our products are accompanied with Lesson Plans and Experiments to make learning (and teaching) neuroscience a breeze.

We also have two products that are still in beta: the RoboRoach, that can give you insight into the neurostimulation and the Searcher that can help you position your electrodes precisely.

Thank you for your interest in Backyard Brains.

Contact Us

Email: info@backyardbrains.com or sales@backyardbrains.com
Post: 525 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Fax: +1 (734) 527-5965

Our Customers

Where, oh where, have our little SpikerBoxes gone? Find out below. University professors are orange, grad students are brown, amateur scientists are yellow, and our high school teachers are in green. Unknown is red.

Our Finances

We are not only open-source, we are open books. Feel free to browse our cash flow at http://finance.backyardbrains.com.

Our Development Team

Greg Gage, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Engineer. gagegreg@backyardbrains.com. Working on teams: Software, Electrical Engineering, Sales, Marketing

Tim Marzullo, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Engineer. tim@backyardbrains.com. Working on teams: Invertebrate Physiology, Mechanical Engineering, Sales, Education

Kyle Shannon, Recent UCSD neuroscience graduate. kyle@backyardbrains.com Working on teams: Cognitive Science, Education. He spends his days wondering how to relate bug neurons to human neurons.

Zorica Reic, Production Manager. zorica@backyardbrains.com Working on team: Production. Ensures we have enough 10k resistors in inventory and that all orders get out in timely fashion all over the world.

Sanja Jankovic, Psychologist. sanja@backyardbrains.com Working on teams: Accounting and Education. Handles our finances and helps us make up our surveys.

Dana Nelson, Education Hacker. dana@backyardbrains.com Working on team: Production.

Cristina Mezuk, Artist, Working on team: Jealous Illustration.

Eric Hampton, Gamer, College Student. Working on team: Production.

Brian Tracy, Ph.D., Professor. Working on teams: Education, Engineering. Advising us on our new human muscle experiments and hardware.

Jennifer Marzullo, Educator, Wife. Working on teams: Learning, Proposals, Fruit Fly Control

Edward Rantze, Financial Analyst and Engineer. Working on teams: Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Education. Evil genius. No product goes out without Ed's approval.

Susan Trigger, Lawyer, Mother-in-Law. Working on teams: real estate, compliance. Allowed Tim to convert her basement into a neuroscience lab stocked with multiple colonies of crickets, cockroaches, and fruit flies. Permitted RoboRoach tests on kitchen floor.

Charlie Taylor, Ph.D., Neuroscientist. Working on teams: Education, Science.

Our Santiago, Chile Advisors

Tiburcio De La Carcova, Veteran Hacker. Founder of Atakama Labs. Helping us launch our Manipulator Prototype and is building the first HackerSpace in Chile.

Matías Gutiérrez, Biologist, Master of Distribution. Founder of Bioquimica.cl. Teaching us the correct way to distribute the science.

Daniel Silva, Biochemist, Linguist. Converting our Experiments a español.


Teddy Morrow, Musician. Worked on team: Production.

Alex Wiltschko, Software Engineer and Harvard Grad Student. Developed our first iPhone application. Makes scientists everywhere jealous of his neuroscience and coding skillz.

Ashton Powell, Ph.D., Neuroscientist and High School Educator. Worked on teams: Education, Invertebrate Physiology.

Grant Trigger, Lawyer, Hobbyist, Father-in-Law. Worked on teams: Mechanical Engineering. Helped make our enclosures much easier to produce. Converted garage into small machine shop.

Zachary King, UCSD Graduate Student and Software Engineer, Worked on team: Brilliant Code.

Nathan Dotz, Software Developer. Worked on teams: Software, Production, General Hacking. Developed our first Android app.

Andre Snellings, Ph.D., Neural Engineer. Worked on teams: Education, Signal Analysis.

Above: Backyard Brains at its first SfN Booth! (October 2012). Photo by Michael Mitchell

Above: Our Michigan Team working for you (November 2011).

We all love nostalgia, and Backyard Brains is no different. Take a moment to view the photos of the birth of our company.