Found this gem
while perusing through my morning news.
A University of Florida scientist has created a living "brain" of cultured rat cells that now controls an F-22 fighter jet flight simulator.
Scientists say the research could lead to tiny, brain-controlled prosthetic devices and unmanned airplanes flown by living computers.
Basically, the scientist put an electrode grid in the bottom of a dish and covered it with rat neurons. The neurons then grew to form a "neural
network" that can now control the flight simulator.
According to the researcher,
TextThe brain then communicates with the flight simulator through a desktop computer.
"We grow approximately 25,000 cells on a 60-channel multi-electrode array, which permits us to measure the signals produced by the activity each
neuron produces as it transmits information across this network of living neurons," DeMarse told Discovery News. "Using these same channels
(electrodes) we can also stimulate activity at each of the 60 locations (electrodes) in the network. Together, we have a bidirectional interface to
the neural network where we can input information via stimulation. The network processes the information, and we can listen to the network's
The brain can learn, just as a human brain learns, he said. When the system is first engaged, the neurons don't know how to control the airplane;
they don't have any experience.
So the network "learns" how to control the flight simulator, and this is the point of interest for scientists studying how learning occurs on a
While the technology is still in its infancy, future applications could include "robots" that are able to "think" in given situations. Some
applications specified in the article include bomb detection and search & rescue missions.
So what do you think, ATS? I see the good this can do....but I also see the potential for truly "smart" bombs and thinking drones. Any input is
welcome, as always.
Have a wonderful Tuesday!