Cyborg Uses Rat Brain Cells to Control Robot

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Cyborg Uses Rat Brain Cells to Control Robot

Scientists have used a culture of rat brain cells to create an intelligent robot that learns over time ... how to destroy us all!

Our robot masters have decided to forgo years of research in pesky hardware processors and have elected instead to use biologic matter to further improve their artificial intelligence. The system devised by Kevin Warwick, a Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, England, uses a culture of rat brain cells kept in a bell jar attached to electrodes, which then communicates wirelessly with a mechanical robot. These brain cells take electric impulses from sensors in the bot, process them, and communicate signals that confer movement in order to avoid obstacles. That's about all this cylon-progenitor can do right now, but the best part is that the rat neurons can form new connections. The robot learns, and becomes significantly better at controlling movement over the course of its lifecycle.

The problem that our dear sweet robot overlords have is that the rat brain cell cultures do not stay alive indefinitely. But Kevin Warwick is working hard on improving both their life expectancy and the amount of working cells. Right now, Warwick believes that out of the 100,000 neurons in the culture, only a very small number of them are responding to stimulus. He thinks that eventually he'll have cultures that are the size of small mammals brains.

Warwick was chosen by our robot master to work on this project because he is almost half robot himself. In 1998, he placed a chip in his body so that the doors of his office would open automatically with his passing. He also wired his arm with 100 electrodes so that he could remotely control a robotic hand. And with his wife wired up to a similar device, the Warwicks were the first humans to communicate completely through electronic signals sent via their nervous systems.

This guy has created the future. I can't wait to see more rat brain robots.

Source: Singularity Hub

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That's awesome, soon robot rats will rule the earth!

Oh god.. I can see where this is going.

That is so f$$ing awesome. I can't believe we're so far along that we can directly interface thought processing cells to circuits and get a response like that.

I mean, take an animal and make it use a robotic arm is one thing. But grow brain cells and get them to work with a computer, with no prior knowledge is just mindblowing. Damn.

Hello, Skynet!

Just kidding, I think this is great. This means that with a couple o' years you could link your brain to a robot and wreak all kinds of havoc. Or live a quiet life.

This is truly incredible. Think of the possibilities. If this research goes well enough, who knows, maybe in the future we'll all have microchips implanted in our brains that will allow us to control any electronic device wirelessly, and instantly.

Sure, we'd have obvious stuff like TVs without remote controls, or cars without ignitions, but this could have incredible potential in the gaming industry. We could have a true, hands-free console that responds to thought instead of controller imput.

Leemaster approves of Rat-bot.

Leemaster777:
This is truly incredible. Think of the possibilities. If this research goes well enough, who knows, maybe in the future we'll all have microchips implanted in our brains that will allow us to control any electronic device wirelessly, and instantly.

Sure, we'd have obvious stuff like TVs without remote controls, or cars without ignitions, but this could have incredible potential in the gaming industry. We could have a true, hands-free console that responds to thought instead of controller imput.

Leemaster approves of Rat-bot.

When you factor in ocular implants then you also add the possibility of virtual reality without need of an entire room like the Holo-Deck...and I guess a permanent cure for blindness too I guess

It's only a matter of time before we have Brain Bots flailing their arms wildly while speaking in disarmingly neutral voices.

Cool workaround.

Instead of trying to build an artificial brain, use ones that already exist. :)

I don't think this will have any big impact on the way we use technology as the brain cells will need the same nurture as us (food,water,oxygen constant stimuli...ect) thus you might as well combine the device to the current brain you've got but I do see some big potential in research/understanding on behaviour.

Leemaster777:
This is truly incredible. Think of the possibilities. If this research goes well enough, who knows, maybe in the future we'll all have microchips implanted in our brains that will allow us to control any electronic device wirelessly, and instantly.

Sure, we'd have obvious stuff like TVs without remote controls, or cars without ignitions, but this could have incredible potential in the gaming industry. We could have a true, hands-free console that responds to thought instead of controller imput.

Leemaster approves of Rat-bot.

?
that's already happing and in fact we have already had the first person to be infected with a computer virus.

This is awesome. The possibilities are nearly endless. I wonder what they'll make out of this.
In the last few months I've read articles about stuff which used to be science fiction but now it's almost here. Future here I come.

Shoggoth2588:

Leemaster777:
This is truly incredible. Think of the possibilities. If this research goes well enough, who knows, maybe in the future we'll all have microchips implanted in our brains that will allow us to control any electronic device wirelessly, and instantly.

Sure, we'd have obvious stuff like TVs without remote controls, or cars without ignitions, but this could have incredible potential in the gaming industry. We could have a true, hands-free console that responds to thought instead of controller imput.

Leemaster approves of Rat-bot.

When you factor in ocular implants then you also add the possibility of virtual reality without need of an entire room like the Holo-Deck...and I guess a permanent cure for blindness too I guess

Well, not exactly. The brain is sending electrical impulses to the machine, not the other way around. So you can TELL the machine what to do, but not the other way around. This isn't quite virtual reality yet.

And frankly, I prefer it that way. When machines can send electronic impulses directly into your brain, in any way, THAT'S when the freaky sci-fi shit starts happening.

I was hoping they would throw a cat in there and see how the bot reacted.

Anyone else picturing the Professor as the Skynet creator from Terminator 2...

NeedAUserName:
Anyone else picturing the Professor as the Skynet creator from Terminator 2...

nope, I see him as a future Dr brackman(supreme commander)

Holy crap, we are living on the cusp of tech that sci-fi writers dream of - the world in 50 years is going to be a very strange place to live :O

Robots already?

Hmm, well, let's just hope that a company called "Skynet" doesn't try and make robots...

Still, it's pretty cool.

Leemaster777:
This is truly incredible. Think of the possibilities. If this research goes well enough, who knows, maybe in the future we'll all have microchips implanted in our brains that will allow us to control any electronic device wirelessly, and instantly.

Sure, we'd have obvious stuff like TVs without remote controls, or cars without ignitions, but this could have incredible potential in the gaming industry. We could have a true, hands-free console that responds to thought instead of controller imput.

Leemaster approves of Rat-bot.

the ability to connect to the internet directly from your head!!!!1!

OT: if you got a network in your brain, it could end up being like stargate/eve where people control entire ships/stations just with their mind

HAIL RAT OVERLORDS

Booyah! Biocomputers!
Though I heard a while ago that they had rat brain cells running a flight sim.... This seems like a step backwards.

Okay, I was reading the article when the Dr. Who theme song popped up on my iPod. Coincidence, or warning from the future? Forget Cylons, I'm looking out for Daleks and Cybermen.

While I approve of what improvements in bio-mechanical interfaces could mean in the real of prosthetic limbs there's something I find about this machine that seems kind of tragic.

Argtee:
Robots already?

Hmm, well, let's just hope that a company called "Skynet" doesn't try and make robots...

Still, it's pretty cool.

You say that like their haven't been thousands of robots already :P

Dexiro:

Argtee:
Robots already?

Hmm, well, let's just hope that a company called "Skynet" doesn't try and make robots...

Still, it's pretty cool.

You say that like their haven't been thousands of robots already :P

Well, the only robot that I remember hearing about is this one and it fell down the stairs...

Still, I don't think we've had any robots with rat brains
Next thing you know, they'll be robots with HUMAN BRAINS!

Hey look! It's my home town! They've been doing this particular project for years now!

Woooh! Go Reading!

Even though I'm at the University of Manchester now... >.>

As awesome as this is (and it is fecking brilliant), robots like this have been round for a few years now. A few years ago, scientists managed to connect the brain cells of a lamprey to a little two wheeled robot with light sensors. The little bugger managed to pootle around and react to light and shade. Hell, in Japan, they've managed to make remote controlled cockroaches.

This article is just another example of some of the amazing things scientists are doing by combining robotics with biology. I for one think this is where the future of advanced robotics lies. Why bother spending millions trying to research hi-tech processors to handle all the functions of an advanced robot, when you can use cultivated brain tissue with all that 'knowledge' built in?

" the Warwicks were the first humans to communicate completely through electronic signals sent via their nervous systems."

Wait what?

*sigh*
great our overlords love cheese. I guess we can use that against them

*cough*Robotnik!*cough*-I mean...uhh...good job!

This is pretty freaking awesome! Honestly, to think how far humanity has come. :O We're now on the verge of creating robots that can learn and think in earnest. Can't wait to see what this dude does next.

Didn't we learn nothing from movies like Terminator and Matrix? Or from video games like Mass Effect? AI=evil!

So Skynet's gonna be run by rats?

My dreams are slowly coming true. The day I can have my brain transplanted into a mechanical device, and live forever, is the day I've wanted for at least half my life.

And I for one support our new robot overlords....

TriggerUnhappy:
Why is it that scientists are obsessed with crazy shit like this?

They're like that little kid that just sits and pokes a dog, to see how many times they can do it before getting their hand bit off.
An exaggeration obviously, but am I the only one at least slightly frightened by stuff like this? Yes, it's very advanced and interesting, but the potential for disaster is huge.

How exactly is it dangerous, this isnt exactly skynet and machines actually deciding to kill humans is purely a sci-fi trope.

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