Boffins design rat brain for robots

Rat - Wikimedia CommonsScientists at the QUT say that modelling a human eye, a rat’s brain and combining them with robots could well lead to new technology.

Dr Michael Milford, lead researcher,  said: “This is a very Frankenstein type of project.”  The study uses newly designed computer algorithms to let robots navigate intelligence.

Why a rat brain and a human eye? Milford said: “A rodent’s spatial memory is strong but has very poor vision while humans can easily recognise where they are because of eyesight.”

He said QUT already has software algorithms to model human eye’s and rat brains.

”We’ll plug in the two pieces of software together on a robot moving around in an environment and see what happens,” he said.

The research could also have implications for neuroscience because disease like Alzheimer’s rapidly degrade spatial navigation abilities in human brains, he said.

But it could all be a long way off. Milford said: “We’ve got all the ground work there but plugging them altogether is the massive challenge we have.  I don’t know exactly how it’s going to work and that’s why it’s research.”

If the research comes to anything, we may well have a stainless steel rat scurrying round out cities.