Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Scientists Create Robot With Biological Brain

Good morning everybody!

File this under: Whoah.
Some very bright chickens at the University of Reading (in Jolly Ol' England!) have created a robot with a dish of cultured neurons for a brain. It has no external controls and makes all decisions according to what its brain tells it.

"University of Reading scientists have developed a robot controlled by a biological brain formed from cultured neurons. And this is a world’s premiere. Other research teams have tried to control robots with ‘brains,’ but there was always a computer in the loop. This new project is the first one to examine ‘how memories manifest themselves in the brain, and how a brain stores specific pieces of data.’ As life expectancy is increasing in most countries, this new research could provide insights into how the brain works and help aging people. In fact, the main goal of this project is to understand better the development of diseases and disorders which affect the brain such as Alzheimer or Parkinson diseases."

“The robot’s biological brain is made up of cultured neurons which are placed onto a multi electrode array (MEA). The MEA is a dish with approximately 60 electrodes which pick up the electrical signals generated by the cells. This is then used to drive the movement of the robot. Every time the robot nears an object, signals are directed to stimulate the brain by means of the electrodes. In response, the brain’s output is used to drive the wheels of the robot, left and right, so that it moves around in an attempt to avoid hitting objects. The robot has no additional control from a human or a computer, its sole means of control is from its own brain.”

Here's the full article.

Little by little we humans become more robotic and robots become more human. Where will we eventually intersect?

We're happy to wait and see!



Team SuperForest

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