Rat Brain Robot Uses Cultured Rat Neurons
Cultured rat neurons placed on a multi-electrode array (MEA) form the brain of Gordon the robot. This brain is housed in a special temperature-controlled unit separate from the robot; Bluetooth is used for control signals.
The rat neurons life in a nutrient-rich medium kept at a constant temperature; they organize themselves within several weeks, organizing themselves based on electrical impulses received from sensors in the wheels.
Meet Gordon, a rat neuron-controlled robot.)
"The purpose is to figure out how memories are actually stored in a biological brain," said Kevin Warwick, a professor at the University of Reading and one of the robot's principle architects.
"If we can understand some of the basics of what is going on in our little model brain, it could have enormous medical spinoffs."
(Gordon, a rat neuron-controlled robot video.)
Incredibly, different MEA-based brains show different personalities; Gordon has several 'spare' brains that can be plugged in.
"It's quite funny -- you get differences between the brains," said Warwick. "This one is a bit boisterous and active, while we know another is not going to do what we want it to."
Science fiction readers are thoroughly familiar with this idea;
laminated mouse brains are used to pilot interstellar ships in the 1962 story Think Blue, Count Two by Cordwainer Smith.
See also Peter Watts'
head cheese from his 1999 novel Starfish, which is a pretty exact match for Gordon's brain.
Breitbart; thanks to Moira for prodding me into doing this story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/15/2008) Follow this kind of news
| | Email | RSS | Blog It Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and . add
Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )
Related News Stories -
Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!
Is There Extraterrestrial Life Here In The Solar System
'How fast is it moving? ...one meter per minute.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1982.
Chinese Fern Helps Remediate Arsenic Soil
'Bioengeering had put out a spec report on the long crawly things five months back.' - Gregory Benford, 1983.
New Lifelike Material Powered By Artificial Metabolism
'... The biological robots were not living creatures.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Another Soil Bacterium Eats Plastic
'...the plastic was dissolved before his eyes.'
reLive Memorial Come Back As A Tree
'It was time - time to go again. She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'
Engineered Living Building Materials
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'
Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'
Arkangel: Automatic Visual Censoring
It's whatever the Party says it is, Winston.
NASA Competition To Design A Bucket Drum For Moon Mining
'There was a heap of discarded ore where Grantline had carted and dumped it...'
Medical Assistant Robot May Roam The Halls Of Hospitals
'Take care, sir.'
No Autonomous Trucks? Wait, What?
'...it resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'
As Big As A Biltong - World's Largest 3D Printer
'Huge and old, it squatted in the center of the settlement park... On the concrete platform... lay a heap of originals to be duplicated.'
Drones Used To Smuggle Contraband Into Prison
'And some mega chip inside so it never runs into anything and no cop ever sees it.'
Are You Ready For Commercial Space Travel?
'It wasn't a pleasant trip; it was a miserable trip on a miserable, undersized tourist rocket...'
Amplified Nerves Lead To Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Hands
'The electrical impulses generated by your brain command everything...'
FlyCroTug Micro Drones Do Heavy Lifting
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock on...'
Virtual Whitney Houston In Concert
Robot Teaches Itself To Walk
'My whole idea is to get away from a machine with a set of prearranged instructions, and let them teach themselves by trial and error.'
DARPA's Subterranean Challenge
Let the machines explore the underground city!
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories