Scientists from the university of Reading have created a simple wheeled robot with distance sensors that is controlled wirelessly by a network of cells from a rat’s brain. The sensor data is fed to the neurons which reside in a nutrient/antibiotic solution – the cells output is then transmitted to the ‘body’ as control commands. The images in the above video make it all look surprisingly simple

‘Rat-brain-controlled’ robot on BBC News

Rise of the rat-brained robots on New Scientist


Rat nerve cell pings computer chip

6 thoughts on “Robot with a rat’s brain

  1. This presents some interesting questions though… for example, if masses of nerve cells are the basis of intelligence, which I’ll admit is arguable, then wouldn’t nerve cell processors necessarily become intelligent at some size? Never mind AI, how about completely unique and alien intelligences given control over our electronics? I for one welcome our rat-brained overlords… sorry, couldn’t resist.

  2. I couldn’t resist sniping on this – If demonstration robot had a single input, the ultrasound ping, and a single recourse, the clockwise turn, then a small puddle of saltwater could do the job the mouse brain is doing. I’ll check in again when it learns three-bit arithmetic.

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