Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Rat-Brained Robot

Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight? The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world. On a serious note researchers from the university of Reading have managed to create a robot that is controlled by neurons from a rats brain. About 300,000 neurons, which are kept in a controlled environment separate to the actual moving robot in order to keep them alive, are not only communicating with each other but are also forming new connections. The robot and the neurons are interfaced together using Bluetooth. The robot, placed in a wooden corral, managed to avoid the walls about 80% of the time. The researchers are keen to see whether the neural connections strengthen as the robot performs certain tasks. It is hoped this research will lead to better understanding of the brain and brain related diseases such as Alzheimer's. Check out the video below.



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