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Hybrid Robot Uses Rat Brain

CowboyNeal posted more than 11 years ago | from the rodent-cyborgs dept.

Science 254

CowboyRobot writes "After two recent stories of artificial brains used to control rats and one about MIT doing the reverse, NYTimes now has a piece on similar work done at Georgia Tech From the article: "...the layer of rat neurons is grown over an array of electrodes that pick up the neurons' electrical activity. A computer analyzes the activity of the several thousand brain cells in real time to detect spikes produced by neurons firing near an electrode." But this time you can buy one for $3,000."

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karma whore (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969236)

Wired to the Brain of a Rat, a Robot Takes On the World
By ANNE EISENBERG

The nerve center of a conventional robot is a microprocessor of silicon and metal. But for a robot under development at Georgia Tech, commands are relayed by 2,000 or so cells from a rat's brain.

A group led by a university researcher has created a part mechanical, part biological robot that operates on the basis of the neural activity of rat brain cells grown in a dish. The neural signals are analyzed by a computer that looks for patterns emitted by the brain cells and then translates those patterns into robotic movement. If the neurons fire a certain way, for example, the robot's right wheel rotates once.

The leader of the group, Steve M. Potter, a professor in the Laboratory for Neuroengineering at Georgia Tech, calls his creation a Hybrot, short for hybrid robot.

"It's very much a symbiosis," he said, "a digital computer and a living neural network working together."

Dr. Potter has been building the system of hardware, software, incubators and rat neurons that constitute the Hybrot since 1993, when he was a postdoctoral student at the California Institute of Technology. He and his group have not only introduced the neurons to the world outside their dish; the team has also closely monitored minute changes that take place in the shape and connections of the neurons as they are stimulated, using techniques like time-lapse photography and laser imaging.

Dr. Potter hopes that close observation of how brain cells behave as they are exposed to a world of sensation will help researchers understand the way small groups of neurons go about learning. "If the network begins to get better at a job," he said, "we will watch what changed within the network to allow it to do that."

Dr. Jonathan Wolpaw, laboratory chief and professor of neuroscience at the Wadsworth Center of the New York State Department of Health and the State University of New York at Albany, said that Dr. Potter's research could yield a simple system for exploring the capacity of neurons and circuits to change based on incoming activity.

"These changes could be analogues of what happens in learning," Dr. Wolpaw said. "You are dealing with neurons, the same tissue as in a brain," although in a different setting and with different circuitry. "Some things presumably are in common, for example, the neuron's capacity for plasticity," he said.

In Dr. Potter's hybrid system, the layer of rat neurons is grown over an array of electrodes that pick up the neurons' electrical activity. A computer analyzes the activity of the several thousand brain cells in real time to detect spikes produced by neurons firing near an electrode.

A silver three-wheeled model of the robot is commercially available through the Swiss robotics maker K-Team (www.k-team.com) for about $3,000 and is about the size of a hockey puck. It trundles along at a top speed of one meter per second.

"We assign a direction of movement, say, a step forward, that is automatically triggered by a pattern of spikes," said Thomas DeMarse, a former member of Dr. Potter's group who is an assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering at the University of Florida. "Twenty of these patterns, for instance, means 20 rotations of the wheel."

As the robot moves, it functions as a sensory system, delivering feedback to the neurons through the electrodes. For example, Mr. DeMarse said, the robot has sensors for light and feeds electrical signals proportional to the light back to the electrodes. "We return information to the dish on the intensity of light as the robot gets closer and the light gets brighter."

The researchers monitor the activity of the neurons for new signals and new connections. Dr. Potter said that the feedback mechanism was crucial to the functioning of the neural network. In traditional, isolated cultured networks, he said, in which neurons are not connected to a body, the activity patterns of the neurons are largely pathological. "They behave in an aberrant way," he said. "It's a symptom of sensory deprivation, because the neurons are not receiving the input they usually get."

He decided to provide a body for the neurons early in his research, first in computer simulation and then in reality, so that neurons would have feedback. In that way, if the cells learned, he and his group might observe the changes that came about in the network. "People say learning is a change in behavior that comes from experience," he said. "For a cultured network to learn, it must first be able to behave."

There is an analogy to the human nervous system in the feedback loop developed by Dr. Potter, said Nicholas Hatsopoulos, an assistant professor in the department of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Hatsopoulos also works on brain-machine interfaces, including ways that brain signals may one day be used to move prosthetic devices.

"Potter's device has sensors that pick up information, and then the signals go back to the dish and stimulate the cells," he said. Similarly, he said, "signals out of the brain control the arm, but there are also sensors in the muscles and skin that send information back, too."

Such feedback loops are necessary to basic research in brain-machine interactions, he said. Researchers need not only to record signals that drive a device but also take signals from sensors and stimulate the nervous system. "Closing the loop will be a key issue in moving this field to the next level, for the feedback presumably helps learning," he said.

Miguel A. L. Nicolelis, a neuroscientist at Duke University, has identified signals generated by a monkey's brain as it gets ready to move, and then used the signals to move a robotic arm. "We are discovering that when animals learn to operate a robotic device, the operation changes the sensory and motor maps of the animal," he said. "Steve is looking for the same thing at the cellular level."

Dr. Potter has not yet demonstrated learning in his network but said he might be able to do so within six months. In experiments, Dr. Potter said he hoped to observe the Hybrot following an object at a certain distance.

"The next step is to watch it to see if it becomes better at following this object," he said. "That would become exciting."

Re:karma whore (5, Funny)

joelil (605463) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969393)

Orkin in Very Intrested..... Just think program 3 rats to invade a house. and then just wait for the phone call to get rid of the rats get paid and have the rats move next door.....

Remember the "rat thing" in Snow Crash? (1)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969443)

I thought Neal Stephenson documented these things in Snow Crash back in '92.

If you don't know the reference, it's worth reading. Snow Crash got at 9.5 rating on slashdot [slashdot.org]

Re:Remember the "rat thing" in Snow Crash? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969481)

The rat things were made out of dogs, however.

In other news, Soylent Green is made of people!

Re:Remember the "rat thing" in Snow Crash? (1)

JPM NICK (660664) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969632)

I am in the middle of reading Cryptonomican by Stephenson right now. I like it so far. It was a little slow out of the gate, but is picking up speed.

Re:karma whore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969571)

so if the rat robot where to smoke pot could it get high?

Human brains (1)

krisp (59093) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969237)

How long until I can buy one of these for myself? Seems like something I'd like broadcast over the internet.

Until the /. effect happens (3, Funny)

gatesh8r (182908) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969248)

Then you'd have a stroke, be knocked offline, and if you're lucky you'd be back surfing as Windows XP Home.

Re:Human brains (1)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969411)

All this Frankenstein science is leading us to a very dark future. [uncoveror.com] How long before they turn us all into remote control human drones?

Re:Human brains (3, Funny)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969473)

How long before they turn us all into remote control human drones?

Who are "they", and why would they bother spending the money on remote-control when they can just lawsuit- and reality-TV- us into submission?

Hmmm... (1, Funny)

CommieLib (468883) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969240)

I thought this was a story about Al Gore.

Re:Hmmm... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969254)

No, Dick Cheney's the one who died and runs on Duracell batteries.

Re:Hmmm... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969296)

They put him in a NiCad recharger every night.

Re:Hmmm... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969317)

Does he have the memory effect?

Potential Early Post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969242)

The straight-talking chicken says:

"Your father never loved you"

*)
\
--------
\------/
||

Support your local Open Troll Movement [slashdot.org] . Or the CLIT.

Is there anyone out there... (0, Troll)

JDWTopGuy (209256) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969249)

...who doesn't give a rat's ass about rat brains?

Correction (4, Informative)

avalys (221114) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969251)

You can buy a copy of the robot base they are using, but it doesn't include the cybernetic rat brain.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969276)

Awww, shucks. :( Maybe I'll just save myself the money and get one from under my bed.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969290)

(-1, Disgusting!!!)

Re:Correction (2, Interesting)

Zurk (37028) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969446)

yep. thats the problem with all this research....everyone who does it doesnt share their results. wheres the models for the function reponse of the rat neurons ? the electrical interface to the cells ? the procesedure and problems encountered ?
By the time anyone publishes results its years and progress has already moved on. the scientific system should be overhauled methinks. this research is critical and interesting enough that lots of people would be ahppy to contribute significantly if it was easy to obtain. a coupla thousand geeks playing with biological-electronic hybrids could do more than a bunch of researchers at a single university or two.

penguin brain? (1)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969685)

or maybe a daemon's?

I can't seem to remember if anyone in The Golden Compass trilogy had a penguin for a daemon, though I suspect Linux has been ported the alethiometer platform.

Why is it always rats? (2, Interesting)

aeinome (672135) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969258)

Whatever happened to the stereotypical guniea pigs? I think we should put their brains in robots, and see what happens.

Re:Why is it always rats? (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969429)

Don't do it to poor defenseless cavies! However, I understand that the combination of a cat brain in a kick-ass robot body [imdb.com] is pretty cool.

Choices, choices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969266)

Ginger ... rat brain robot ... computer that can run Doom3 ... so many choices ... so little money.

Rat Brain (-1, Troll)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969267)

So it looks like Al Sharpton can actually do something useful for once in his life. :)

Cool (1)

ScottMaxwell (108831) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969268)

This will be very useful in my plan to create a giant killer robot with the brain of a rat.

Does this remind anyone else of the Simpsons episode where they go to Itchy and Scratchy Land?

Matrix (0, Offtopic)

cwikla (557137) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969269)

*Add obvious Matrix comment in here*

Re:Matrix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969289)

"This tastes like pie"? Or "I'm not wearning any pants."?

What do you think?

Obvious Matrix comment (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969318)

Whoa! I know Rat-Fu.

It's immoral... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969275)

... they should only use human vollunteers for this sort of thing.

Artificial retina (4, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969286)

If you could create a multi-laminar structure, this setup might be ideal for an artificial retina. Currently, the bionic retinas being used are nowhere near as sensitive as they need to be to create any useful phototransduction, even if the neural retinal substrate underneath remained intact (which it does not). A multilaminar device could sandwich photosensitive elements combined with neural substrates that would function as the neural interface to the output of the retina, the remaining ganglion cells.

Put the rat in the iron! (5, Funny)

showmeshowyoukikoman (659208) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969297)

I think rats can resist extreme heat. What about using this rat brain to control the blob of iron we are sending to the middle of the earth? That was an interesting headline to be sure. As is this one.

Who knew they were transplanting rat brains into aibo robot dogs!

Back in the day, we used to talk about robots. But for us, it was always a frightening thing. Then saturday night live did a commercial about robots stealing our medicine! Believe you me, THAT had me scared for a while! I know it was satire, but it's not hard to imagine robots living off the powerful medicines we old people use!

Re:Put the rat in the iron! (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969349)

I know it was satire, but it's not hard to imagine robots living off the powerful medicines we old people use!

Oh no! You missed the warning at the end, that people denying the existence of robots may themselves be robots. They've been lying to us, time to ruuuuunnn!

Revenge of the Lab Rats (5, Funny)

Coelacanth (323321) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969299)

Not that this isn't cool and all, but:

I don't want to be around when this thing becomes aware enough to take retribution for countless generations of lab rat torture! Someone will stumble into the lab and find a scientist's brain wired into a speak-n-spell, with a rat-bot-shaped hole in the wall and a trail of cheese crumbs...

Re:Revenge of the Lab Rats (1)

WetCat (558132) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969313)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of THOSE!
Armed by military lasers and automatic guns.

Re:Revenge of the Lab Rats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969624)

That would require them to become sentient first, and they haven't even managed that in large numbers (rat brain, millions+) over millions of years of evolution [yet] so i doubt they could in small numbers (2000 or so mentioned in the article)

how soon... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969306)

until it can be a slashdot moderator?

I think it'd be perfect (aka simple minded).

Re:how soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969415)

I think it'd be perfect (aka simple minded).

Rule of thumb: If you have to explain it, it wasn't funny (aka dumbass).

Quick (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969308)

Some find a pied piper. Should cause absolute mayhem in the lab as all the robots take off out the door simultaneously.

The rats name isn't... (1)

marcushnk (90744) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969320)

Shodan is it??

Reminds me of 'Care Dog meets Pee Bear' (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969332)

You remember good old Care Dog, from Care-a-Lot town? If not, take a look at Care Dog meets Pee Bear [subgenius.com] over at the Curch of the Subgenius.

Specifically, the part at the end:

When his body finally died, they used a new machine which could keep his brain alive indefinitely, perhaps even forever. It was hailed as a tremendous medical breakthrough, but Care Dog didn't know he was famous -- for he could neither hear nor see nor smell nor feel, but could only hurt.

I'm going to get flamed, but (-1, Flamebait)

loomis (141922) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969341)

Once I saw a bumper sticker that read "Torturing one animal is cruelty, but torturing many animals is science."

How true.

Loomis

Re:I'm going to get flamed, but (4, Funny)

Muhammar (659468) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969569)

As a scientist, I regret that you are not my animal.

Re:I'm going to get flamed, but (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969622)

As much as I appreciate research towards human/machine interfaces, I have to agree.

Why not use donated brain tissue from humans? If research like this is really promising, I'd find it hard to believe that at least other scientists in the field wouldn't be willing to have theirs used in the event of their death by natural or accidental causes. It would also provide a better model for what this is supposed to be used for eventually.

They Are Robot Salesmen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969343)

Gives a new meaning to the word salesdroid. That is still a lot of grey matter for the average salesman, this bot is going to be a sales genius.

Pinky & the Brain (1)

jstroebele (596628) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969350)

Pinky : "Gee, Brain what do you want to do tonight?"
Brain : "The same thing we do every night Pinky. Try to take over the world!"

Robot & the Brain (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969486)

Robot : "Gee, Brain what do you want to do tonight?"
Brain : "The same thing we do every night Pinky. Follow that stupid light around!"

This is odd (2, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969352)

This rat-to-robot or robot-to-rat research thing is strange. Two things spring to mind :

- Isn't this rat brain interfacing business just a clever way of saying "ahem, moving right along" after decades of general-purpose AI research failure ?

- What the hell do these people target rats that much ? don't mice do the trick too ? or cats or dogs ? Some years ago, bio-computer interfacing experiments were conducted with squids, because they have very large neurons that are easy to work with : have squids complained to the PETA ? or maybe some of these researchers have pest have family members who work in the rats control business.

Re:This is odd (2, Insightful)

LemurShop (585831) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969384)

WHAT? CATS AND DOGS? not the cute puppies and the sweet fluffie kitties! Rats are really ugly and icky, you just go ahead son, but not those cute animals that can do silly little human things with their hands oh my. You sir are a monster! An inhuman freak with no respect to cute animals that look nice on peoples houses, uh, i mean nature, and all of god's animals. yeeeeah thats exactly what i mean. Yes, this is off topic. But i might as well vent a little.

Re:This is odd (5, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969425)

What the hell do these people target rats that much ? don't mice do the trick too ?

Rats have much larger brains and visual pathways than do mice, so surgery and implants of bionic and biological devices is spatially easier. The advantage that mice have right now is the genetic resources and databases that currently are not available to the same extent as for rats.

Re:This is odd (3, Funny)

GriffX (130554) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969559)

Plus, the mice own the Earth. Best not to mess with them, right?

Re:This is odd (1)

vandan (151516) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969451)

Why rats?
I suppose rats are seen as disposable.
With the current world situation (Iraq, Palestine, Tibet, Cuba ......) does this really surprise you?
Rats don't conjure up as much emotion as squids - squids have a kinda unique, rare quality about them.

I assume the researchers would not approve of using their children's brains in their experiments. According to science and capitalism, the right to life and freedom from torture is directly proportional to the intelligence and wealth of the individual.

In other news (0, Offtopic)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969355)

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Scary (0, Redundant)

DaLiNKz (557579) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969358)

Robots using biological brainmatter.. hmm .. I see the Matrix [thematrix.com] comming..

NyTimes, Eh (2, Funny)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969359)

Seems fitting that NYTimes ran a story on this. How long before we start to see these things in NYC subway tunnels?

Re:NyTimes, Eh (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969548)

Ha ha ha ha. Shut up.

Rat brain? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969360)

Maybe they should also consider using NBA referees' brains. Clearly, they are pretty cheap to buy.

Looks like they're going to do their best to rob the San Antonio Spurs. Anyone see them change the foul call from Kobe to Shaw? Of course, It would have been 3 on Kobe...but we can't have that can we. What is it with NBA refs, the Lakers, and Game 6's? This is going to be last years Game 6 vs Sacramento all over again. Go Lakers!

time to watch T2 again (1)

stock (129999) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969364)

In Terminator 2 , which at the time seemed a fiction only story, its the cyberdyne chip which enables people to create these robots. 2 Robots (terminator's) fly back in time to get things straight. the good one wants to destroy the cyberdyne chip and the evil one wants to prevent that.

Now we have a rat's brain doing the cyberdyne chip part. Well we all know what a rat behaves like. the cyberdyne chip inside Arnold Schwarzenegger was at least able to say 'Hasta la Vista'. When the cyberdyne chip and its factory was 'terminated' , terminator Arnold had to destroy himself too, to completely anihilate cyberdyne technology.

Well my opinion is to put this crazy stuff on hold. Imagine a rat controlling heavy armed robots. This is for normal sane people a no-go.

Robert

Re:time to watch T2 again (1)

LemurShop (585831) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969403)

Step 1: Put that on a TV show
Step 2: Throw in some reality tv "stars"
Step 3: ..... (obvious)
Step 4: Profit!

Re:time to watch T2 again (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969531)

Actually, there is a book over in Baen's [baen.com] free (as in beer) online library of some of their titles that has these (Bats, Rats, and Vats - I forget the author). Modified bats as well. Pretty good read, as is a lot of other stuff on that site, including some very "known" authors.

Re:time to watch T2 again (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969550)

Well my opinion is to put this crazy stuff on hold. Imagine a rat controlling heavy armed robots. This is for normal sane people a no-go.


After a scenario like that, I don't think your intended audience need worry about their sanity.

Kittys (1)

Keith McClary (14340) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969659)

Imagine a rat controlling heavy armed robots. This is for normal sane people a no-go.

How about a cute fluffy little kitty-cat controlling heavy armed robots?

Ratbrain enterprise edition! (4, Funny)

N2H4 (655009) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969375)

I will wait until i can purchase a ratbrain pci card before I jump on the bandwagon. Imagine the image recognition possibilites :)

Re:Ratbrain enterprise edition! (3, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969509)

Yeah but what happens if you get a stupid rat ?

Re:Ratbrain enterprise edition! (1, Funny)

slimey_limey (655670) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969551)

Yes!! Sell it in a box with an ethernet connector, and call it a "holographic-storage fileserver"! Stores terabytes of data, serches instantly, only neds 0.25 watts of power! Thrives on your excess data-center heat!

Strong Sad (3, Funny)

Luigi30 (656867) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969386)

"And then the old man's kids came. The robot remembered them and began to cry. But the tears short circuited the robot and he died and fell onto the kids. And none of them lived..." Hope that doesn't happen!

One question... (3, Insightful)

Tidal Flame (658452) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969388)

Does the rat wonder why the f--k it has a robotic body?

Re:One question... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969453)

Does the rat wonder why the f--k it has a robotic body?

Probably not, as it will be used to the mechanism. We all wondered about our human bodies some time after we were born. And frankly, even many grownups aren't comfortable with their bodies.

mathematical models ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969400)

anyone have models or data on these experiments available ? i'd love to have a mathematical model of a set of rat neurons.

Living tissue (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969401)

How do they keep the nerve cells alive? Are they actually fed, oxygenated, and protected from infection?

Re:Living tissue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969496)

Yes, they do. As a matter of fact, I recently saw Dr. Potter talk and apparently he holds the record for the longest living nerve cells, I blieve it was for some period over a year.

So... (1)

Hoch (603322) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969407)

What is the ETA of the first rat Matrix? Are the dates coincidental? I think not!

hoch

I hope (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969432)

They are only using female rats for this experiment. If they use male rats the report would probably look something like

Monday morning
Robot tried too shag other robots

Monday afternoon
Robot refused to move from candy vending machine

Monday evening
Robot tried too shag other robots

Tuesday morning
Robot tried too shag other robots ....

Re:I hope (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969573)

You don't know women very well. Women like to shag as much as men, they just hide it for various reasons. Since I've gotten married I've been privy to many more intimate conversations between my wife and her friends (I'm not as threatening now, I suppose) and they are just as interested in sex, if not more so, than their male companions. Hell, a significant percentage of the time they're bitching because their SO's aren't satisfying them. Makes me stay sharp, that's for damn sure.

$3016 in total then! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969437)

$3000 for a decent droid isn't too bad, but what's even better is that brains are only $16 [plastic.com] these days. And nope, that's not a goatse link. His brain would be even cheaper.

Robocop (1)

hyeh (89792) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969491)

This is much more like Robocop than any other movie analgoy. Imagine the sheer horror of waking up one day, and finding that your body is a mechanical construct.

That's probably how the rat feels.

All your "K" belong to us (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969493)

How long before K-Team [k-team.com] sue KDE [kde.org] for use of the letter "K"? ;-)

I'm waiting for the telepathic dog brain. (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969494)

From some ancient sci-fi novel I can't recall.

Cyborgs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969518)

Comedy "how long until I get my flying cyborg body?" option.

/sa

Re:Cyborgs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969530)

Oh, oh, forgot about the comedy Beowolf cluster option... oh, well, next time.

So this then is the output of the transhuman? (1)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969522)

Transhumanism is about controlling the input and output to the "self", wherever it is. It really won't be like robocop at all...you'll just have a brain (or whatever part is needed) and can swap everything else out. Most transhumanists want to kill or control lesser beings, so best be informed so you can join them.

Wow (1)

Tyrdium (670229) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969536)

Must be smart rats they're serving it off... Hasn't been slashdotted yet...

fiction meets fact: cordwainer smith (2, Informative)

deasach (46303) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969547)

Sprinkled right through Cordwainer Smith's [cordwainer-smith.com] short stories written in the 1960s are altered animals and bio-computers. In particular one of his stories (I wish I could remember which one - "Think Blue, Count Two"?) mentions a computer made of "laminated mouse brain". Few things seem to happen today that weren't anticipated earlier by at least one sci-fi writer...

"Hybrid Robot Uses Rat Brain" (1)

Muhammar (659468) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969580)

No distatesful GWB jokes here, please - he got almost half of the votes.

No! (1)

scrod (136965) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969593)

We must destroy the Daleks before it's too late!

Re:No! (1)

Ridcully (121813) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969679)

Or stop them from using pigs' brains. Next thing you know they'll create the Peking Homunculus and it will try to kill the Commissioner of the Icelandic Alliance's children.

Oh sorry.

That's not due till the Ice Age in the year 5000 AD.

Ok. Stop them from using pigs' brains in robots now to replace politicians. Who would know? :)

Hybrid Robot Uses Rat Brain... (1)

nother_nix_hacker (596961) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969598)

Hybrid Robot Uses Rat Brain

Oh my sweet love of god. I haven't read the story and that scares the shit out of me! :)

Wrong headline (1)

Slur (61510) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969608)

It should read:

Rat Brain Uses Hybrid Robot

Well, back to the future again. (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969618)

For anyone that's interested, Cordwainer Smith [cordwainersmith.com] wrote about this stuff back in the '60s.

Holly Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969626)

And I just saw the preview for T3!

The implications of this technology (4, Funny)

InterruptDescriptorT (531083) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969638)

At least we'll never run out of politicians now. :-)

Experimenting on animals... (1)

MrTangent (652704) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969652)

Experimenting on animals makes me sick. Just because you can doesn't mean it's right.

Re:Experimenting on animals... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5969701)

How true! It's far better to experiment on humans! In fact, I'm volunteering you to be the first to have their brain wired to a robot!

HitlerBot? (1)

allanc (25681) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969688)

I think the real question is, how far are we mad scientists of the world from being able to easily transplant Hitler's brain into a killer robot?

--AC

BCI to Intelligence Amplication (2, Interesting)

Saeger (456549) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969708)

Brain-Computer Interfaces like these are the first babysteps on the road to true Intelligence Amplication. Technically, Google is IA too, but it's external to your brain, has high latency, etc., but BCI enables much faster communication.

Quite a few people are convinced that IA will "win" out over pure AI (in the race to Singularity [caltech.edu] ) simply because we already have millions of years of evolution to bootstrap from, instead of waiting for enough computing capacity for seed-AI to grow into.

--

More Sci-fi roots! (1)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969714)

Dreams of God and Men by William Thomas Quick The device is called a "Meatbox", a computer made of neural material.

So that would be a Stainless Steel Rat, then? (1)

UberOogie (464002) | more than 11 years ago | (#5969716)

Harry Harrison in the house. Props to the peeps. I'm outtie.

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