Vincent Van Rat hits the Internet

Oct. 9, 2003
Engineers in the U.S. and Australia have created what they call a "semiliving artist." It is a picture-drawing robot in Perth, Australia, controlled over the Internet by signals emanating from a few thousand rat neurons in a petri dish in Atlanta.

Robotic arms react to the neural activity of a few thousand rat neurons to produce this drawing.
 
 

The robot consists of three drawing arms equipped with three colored markers perched over a white canvas. The rat cells are monitored by 60 two-way electrodes that detect electrical activity (neural signals). A computer records and translates the signals into robotic movements. Cell firing determines which part of the canvas to draw on and which markers to use.

Steve Potter, a professor at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, believes this experiment will lead to cell-culture networks in labs resembling those in animal and human brains. Eventually, the robot's sensor data will be sent back through the network of cells as electronic signals. By closing the feedback loop, researchers hope the robot will learn something about itself and its environment. The Georgia team has already developed a robot (dubbed Hybrot) with movements controlled by a cultured neural network said to be capable of adaptive behavior and learning.

Sponsored Recommendations

How BASF turns data into savings

May 7, 2024
BASF continuously monitors the health of 63 substation assets — with Schneider’s Service Bureau and EcoStruxure™ Asset Advisor. ►Learn More: https://www.schn...

Agile design thinking: A key to operation-level digital transformation acceleration

May 7, 2024
Digital transformation, aided by agile design thinking, can reduce obstacles to change. Learn about 3 steps that can guide success.

Can new digital medium voltage circuit breakers help facilities reduce their carbon footprint?

May 7, 2024
Find out how facility managers can easily monitor energy usage to create a sustainable, decarbonized environment using digital MV circuit breakers.

The Digital Thread: End-to-End Data-Driven Manufacturing

May 1, 2024
Creating a Digital Thread by harnessing end-to-end manufacturing data is providing unprecedented opportunities to create efficiencies in the world of manufacturing.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!