Robot with a Biological Brain

Robot with a Biological Brain

Here at the university of reading
what we’ve created is a robot with the biological brain. This is a brain where
the neurons are cultured and grown under laboratory conditions. So the only
control of a physical robot is this biological brain that we have grown. We
take neurons, a suspension of neurons and place it onto a multi electric array, which is essentially a dish that has a
surface of sixty electrodes that pick up the electrical signals
displayed by the neurons. They then grow, divide, connect up, start to
display various complex electrical activities, which we can then introduce
into the closed-loop system that comprises these biological cells,
these neurons on the multi electric array connect it up to robotic system and
then a sensory information from the robotic system is fed back into the
neurons, thereby giving us this hybrid animas. Now this is
really exciting, because we can put the robot into different situations and see how the memories that the robot have actually appear in the brain. We can see the neurons firing and makeing
connections between each other. When we understand what’s happening in
the brian, this has tremendous potential within the medical world particularly
things like Alzheimer’s disease. We can actually see what’s going on in a brain,
a biological brain with memories how are memories stored how are they recollected and what happens in the future. Can we strengt them the memories so they don’t
disappear.Once the brain cells, once the neurons on the MEA introduced to the closed loop-system the electrical activity of the neurons is picked up by the MEA. Electrical activity goes to fairly
complex processing steps which ultimately drive the
speed of movements, the speed of its wheels, the direction in which he turns.
Now the robot itself is equipped with sensory apparatus, sonar sensors which we
can say a equivalent to ouer ears and so forth that sensory information which the robot
is picking up all the time how far I am away from a given wall or a wall
behind me. We can then turn into electrical
stimulation that’s delivered back to the on the neurons on the MEA. And so in that way information coming
out and information being fed back in and the interaction between the two goes
around and around for this close loop. And by this means that we hope that
the robot will actually learn to perform meaningful functions. We are really getting to the exciting
stage of the project where we can try and teach the robot how to behave. But already what’s amazing is with the
robot going through particular procedures. Coming to the wall avoiding
an object and doing that repetitively it’s actually learning. In that way the neuron
links a strengthening just from the habit that robot has doing something
repetitively and you can see this in humans you do something frequently you
get used to do it you become better at it. That’s what’s exactly happening
within the robot. We don’t even have to tell it. It’s improving as it keeps doing
something. One of the fundamental questions neuron scientists are
facing today’s how we linked the activity of individual neurons to the
complex behaviors that we see in whole organisms all animals. And so this project gives us a very
unique opportunity to look at something that may exhibit whole behaviors, but
still remain closely tied to the activity of individual neurons. And
hopefully we can use that to go someday advance some of these very
fundamental questions. We have ageing society particularly in
the western world. And so problems such as Alzheimer’s disease,
Parkinson’s disease, even strokes are going to be much more prevalent, a much
more of a problem for people. What we’re doing here with this research is trying
to understand some of the basic characteristics within a brain, so
hopefully some of those diseases at least we can find ways of remedying them,
but maybe even discover a cure.


  1. Few years ago there was a discovery of creating syntetic skin and now they are able to craft their own brain. Outstanding.

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