Rat Brain + Robot = Research Answered
Researchers have created a robot, controlled by a rat brain, to help study memory and look into the causes behind some debilitating diseases.
The blob of nerves forming the brain of the robot was taken from the neural cortex in a rat foetus and then treated to dissolve the connections between individual neurons.
Sensory input from the sonar on the robot is piped to the blob of cells to help them form new connections that will aid the machine as it navigates around its pen.
The study has big implications, say the researchers.
The brain cells have been taught how to control the robot's movements so it can steer round obstacles and the next step, say its creators, is to get it to recognise its surroundings.
Once the robot can do this the researchers plan to disrupt the memories in a bid to recreate the gradual loss of mental faculties seen in diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Interesting stuff from the BBC.
Side note: When you watch the video, notice the volume bar. But these go to eleven!