It’s Finally Happened – A True, Functional Cyborg

with 3 comments

Researchers in the UK have developed a robot that is controlled by living organic tissue – neurons cultivated from rats.  This technically makes the robot a cyborg.   To my knowledge the first true cyborg.  Here is a blurb from New Scientist:

… the disembodied neurons are communicating, sending electrical signals to one another just as they do in a living creature. We know this because the network of neurons is connected at the base of the pot to 80 electrodes, and the voltages sparked by the neurons are displayed on a computer screen.

It’s these spontaneous electrical patterns that researchers at the University of Reading in the UK want to harness to control a robot. If they can do so reliably, by stimulating the neurons with signals from sensors on the robot and using the neurons’ response to get the robots to respond, they hope to gain insights into how brains function. Such insights might help in the treatment of conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

How many times have our attempts to treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy led to the devastation of the human race by unkillable, rat brained robot warriors?  When will we learn?

Check out the New Scientist article to learn more about how the neurons are cultivated and the way they are used to study how brains work (or don’t work).  It’s a fascinating read.


Written by Aaron Nee

April 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm

3 Responses

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  1. AHHHHHH!!!!


    April 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm

  2. We’re going to need a lot of cheese.


    April 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm

  3. rOT5bO fluwhfbrmail


    April 22, 2011 at 2:42 am

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