One of the Creepiest Robotics Experiments Ever

A robot operated by the brain of a living thing…sounds like science fiction, right? In Surrey, England, they’ve actually done just that. What looks like a some kind of toy car is actually the first robot capable of learning (a skill that always plays out well in fiction). Using bluetooth technology, the sensors and motor functions of the robot are controlled by the neurons of a living rat’s brain, which is contained in a jar.

What these roboticists have created is a cyborg. It’s controlled entirely by the living tissue of the (former) rat, is capable of learning, and each particular cyborg has its own unique personality. See for yourself at this video courtesy of Diagnal View UK:

Curious little thing, isn’t it? Did you see how scurried around checking things out? Just like a real rat.

Of course, I don’t have to tell you the possibilities presented by future advances with this technology. I wonder how much bigger the human model is going to be…

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4 Responses to “One of the Creepiest Robotics Experiments Ever”

  1. StampedingVash Says:

    Wow! This actually made my day as I love anything having to do with cyberization. I had no idea we had come this far. I dream of human cyberization being a possibility in my lifetime, and this looks like a big step.

    Also, I like the site!

  2. I remember seeing this on the telly awhile back. I find it slightly disconcerting and really awesome at the same time. I couldn’t help wondering if it’s capable of ‘feeling’ things like rats can. If you went chasing after it in a threatening fashion would it feel fear like a rat would? Would it try to escape? It’s really fascinating and, as you put in the title, really creepy. Where does the moral line go when it comes to this?

    Also, I love the site. Though it’s probably a bad idea for me to browse it in the middle of the night seeing I’m really good at freaking myself out. Alas, insomnia’s a bitch and I find myself with little else to do.

    • StampedingVash Says:

      I dont think it can feel much beyond what its programmed to. If I was reading the other articles on it correctly, its not a whole rat brain or anything, its just cultured rat brain cells. So its like any other computer curcuit, just made significantly more complex by the introduction of a biological component.

      As for the cruelty issue, I dont think there is one either for the same reason. But even if there was, I must be a horrible person because I think this type of technology is promising enough to warrant it, heh.

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