Rise of the (Rat-Brained) Machines


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Following the Terminator story, we go to this groundbreaking invention by professor Kevin Warwick of the University of Reading and colleagues: a robot with a living brain!

Meet Gordon, probably the world's first robot controlled exclusively by living brain tissue.

Stitched together from cultured rat neurons, Gordon's primitive grey matter was designed at the University of Reading by scientists who unveiled the neuron-powered machine on Wednesday. [...]

Because the brain is living tissue, it must be housed in a special temperature-controlled unit -- it communicates with its "body" via a Bluetooth radio link. The robot has no additional control from a human or computer.

From the very start, the neurons get busy. "Within about 24 hours, they start sending out feelers to each other and making connections," said Warwick. "Within a week we get some spontaneous firings and brain-like activity" similar to what happens in a normal rat -- or human -- brain, he added.

Link | New Scientist Tech article - via Scribal Terror


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You know where this is headed. People who are afraid of death will choose "immortality" by getting their brains shoved into a robotic body. While that might be cool for a while, I think it would get old pretty quickly. Especially once all your friends who couldn't afford the procedure started dying.
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