Monday, November 8, 2010

Researchers Using Rat-Robot Hybrid to Design Better Brain Machine Interfaces

Researchers from the University of Tokyo are showcasing a hybrid creature, half robot, half rat, which they appropriately call the RatCar. This is a rat-vehicle experiment they hope could lead to improved mobility for people with disabilities, such as total limb paralyses.
Presenting the prototype at the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society annual conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the researchers from University of Tokyo explained that “The objective was to make the vehicle collaborate with the rats to achieve the locomotion they desire.” In order words, the vehicle responds to the desires or simple will of the rat and move around appropriately.
"We wanted to develop a brain-machine interface system aiming for future wheelchairs that paralyzed patients can control only with thought," says Osamu Fukayama of the university's Medical Engineering and Life Science Laboratory. "RatCar is a simplified prototype to develop better electrodes, devices, and algorithms for those systems."
Unlike some brain-machine interface, or BMI, devices that rely on noninvasive EEG to detect neural activity, the RatCar works through direct contact with the brain. Other researchers have used this technique in getting rats to control robotic grippers and monkeys to control computer cursors and even advanced robot arms (see CA! Vol 10 No 6)
All these are further direct evidences that implanted microchips can easily provide an interface between the human mind and the outside world. Actually scientists are becoming more forthright in admitting to such mind-reading capability. Indeed in a recent story in the UK, brain implants for people in coma for the explicit purpose of reading their mind was being promoted ( . In reality, not only will it be possible to know what is going on in implanted people’s mind, thoughts and desires can actually be inputted there from the outside world. Isn’t that what’s called robots? No wonder the Bible concludes people who receive the mark of the beast (which we believe the microchip implant is preparatory for) are irreversibly sold to the ultimate controller of that technology – the antichrist! (see Rev 14:9-10, and the Topical issue on page 8 of this edition)
See Also:
• Cyborg Fly Pilots Mobile Robot
• Rat, Monkey, and Man Control Robots With Their Minds
(As brain-machine interfaces become more advanced, so do the devices they can control)
• Robot Bacteria Builds Pyramid

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