Cyberpunk Review » Robot works with a meat brain.

August 14, 2008

Robot works with a meat brain.

Source: ZDNet, from

Bot with Brain

The University of Reading’s robot and its “brain”; Cultured neurons in a multi-electrode array (MEA) with electrodes for communication between the neurons and the robot body.

In what has to be a ground-breaking event, the University of Reading’s (UK) Cybernetic Intelligence Research Group (CIRG) have constructed a robot that has an organic “brain” made of cultured neurons. Control of the robot is done completly from the brain, WITHOUT HUMAN INPUT.

The project is, surprisingly, not about creating a race of cyborgs:

This cutting edge research is the first step to examine how memories manifest themselves in the brain, and how a brain stores specific pieces of data. The key aim is that eventually this will lead to a better understanding of development and of diseases and disorders which affect the brain such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, stoke and brain injury.


So, no robot/cyborg overlords. Not just yet… The main goal of the brain-bot is to study how the brain works in terms of memory storage. Of course, that doesn’t mean other applications are not possible:

(From Roland Piquepaille, ZDNet) The area of focus is notably the use of electrode technology, where a connection is made directly with the cerebral cortex and/or nervous system. The presentation will consider the future in which robots have biological, or part-biological, brains and in which neural implants link the human nervous system bi-directionally with technology and the internet.

There’s also this video (a 95MB video) about the bot and a couple of its creators (I’ll be checking it out when I have some time).

UPDATE: It looks like the video link above has “expired,” so here’s a video from New Scientist showing the bot in action:



August 14, 2008

RoBo said:

Saying things like “a race of cyborgs” and “robot/cyborg overlords” perpetuates a common, science-fictional misunderstanding about Cyborg. The goal of Cyborg is to augment homeostasis for unconscious self-regulation to free organisms to think, feel, and explore. Thinking of Eugenics racially is a social problem that has lead to genocide. Promoting fear about the minorities rising up to become overlords has likewise lead to policies of pre-emptive destruction by humans. Humans must learn tolerance and use language that promotes tolerance. Otherwise, modeling machines on ignorant and intolerant humans can lead to machine intolerance of humans, but it will be the humans’ fault.

RoBo said:

This is not to say that I regard Cyborgs as necessarily any percentage machine.

August 19, 2008

Mr No 1 said:


The link for the video seems to be broken, any other URL?


August 20, 2008

Mr. Roboto said:

Hi, No. 1.

Unfortunately, it looks like there are no other links to the movie. Best I can find is the short YouTube vid.

Mr No 1 said:

Thanks Mr. Roboto =)

December 2, 2008

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Adam Daub said:

Meat brain tasty… mMMMmmmmMm

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