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.”