March 29, 2009

New Robot with Biological Brain

Per Seed,

"Life [for Kevin] Warwick’s new robot began when his team at the University of Reading spread rat neurons onto an array of electrodes. After about 20 minutes, the neurons began to form connections with one another. 'It’s an innate response of the neurons,' says Warwick, 'they try to link up and start communicating.'

"For the next week the team fed the developing brain a liquid containing nutrients and minerals. And once the neurons established a network sufficiently capable of responding to electrical inputs from the electrode array, they connected the newly formed brain to a simple robot body consisting of two wheels and a sonar sensor.


"At first, the young robot spent a lot of time crashing into things. But after a few weeks of practice, its performance began to improve as the connections between the active neurons in its brain strengthened."

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