Video: Rat Brains Grown for Robot Control

Posted: August 19, 2008 in Articles
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Wired Danger Room:

We’ve seen all kinds of animal-machine hybrids in recent years — remotely-steerable sharks, cyborg pigeons, monkeys that can control robotic limbs with their minds.

At the University of Reading, researchers are actually growing rat brain neurons, in order to build a robot control system, New Scientist reports.

At the heart of the device is “a small pot containing a pink broth of nutrients and antibiotics. Inside that pot, some 300,000 rat neurons have made – and continue to make – connections with each other… [and] sending electrical signals. It’s these spontaneous electrical patterns that researchers want to harness… [B]y stimulating the neurons with signals from sensors on the robot [they’re] using the neurons’ response to get the robots to respond.”

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