At last the scientific world has pushed me a few feet closer to living my dream of being a brain inside a robot ninja body. A team of British researchers took a blob of neurons from an embryonic rat's brain, hooked it up to a robot controller, and used the resulting brain-computer mashup to make a small robot (pictured). The brain cells help the robot navigate around a room, and damn if it isn't a little squicky to imagine that a rat brain peers out of those robot eyes. According to BBC News:
As the cells are living tissue, they are kept separate from the robot in a temperature-controlled cabinet in a container pitted with electrodes. Signals are passed to and from the robot via Bluetooth short-range radio. The brain cells have been taught how to control the robot's movements so it can steer round obstacles and the next step, say its creators, is to get it to recognise its surroundings.
It's a clear case of Doctor Who influencing the course of science. Remember how in the new Doctor Who Cyberman episdoes, all the humans were controlled by Bluetooth before their brains were taken out and plopped into cyberbodies? Would it be too creepy for these researchers to put their next rat brain into a robot that looks like a Dalek? Rat-brained robot [BBC News]