Rat-brained robot overlords!Posted: August 20, 2008
Well, not in the near future at any rate, but a research team at the Univerity of Reading in the UK have developed a robot that is controlled by cultured neuronal cells from the brain of rats.
The cultured cells were placed onto a sheet of electrodes that can detect the minute electrical signals from the neurons. These signals are the only form of control for the robot as it moves; there is no external control at all.
One of the aims of the experiment is to study how memories are formed, through linkages and reinforcement of the connections between neural cells as the robot re-encounters aspects of its environment. Ultimately it is hoped this will help to shed light on the causes and possible treatments of neural disorders like Alzheimers adn Parkinson’s Disease.