Researchers have introduced the world to Gordon, the first robot that operates on real brain tissue, according to a linkurl:news release; from University of Reading in the UK yesterday (August 13). The robot moves only under direction from his brain, which is a collection of 50,000-100,000 rat neurons. The researchers separated the neurons from rat fetuses, cultured them, and then spread them on a nutrient-rich array panel with 60 electrodes. Within about 24 hours the neurons start sending out "feelers" to other neurons and making connections, linkurl:Kevin Warwick,; one of Gordon's principle designers, told linkurl:Agence France-Presse.; "Within a week we get some spontaneous firings and brain-like activity," he added. The neurological firings signal Gordon's wheels to move and which direction to go. Sensors on the robot's surface trigger neuronal response, so that certain neurons fire as Gordon nears a wall, for example. Those neurons redirect the wheels to try and...

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