Robo-rats and Rat-bots

Rat Racetrack
"You've got circuitry in my rat brains!"

"No, you've got rat brains in my circuitry!"

Two great tastes that go great together: rat brains and computer circuitry. Scientists at SUNY-Brooklyn have wired a computer into a live rat's brain, allowing the researchers to remotely "steer" the rat, while a researcher at Georgia Tech has grafted rat neurons into a robot, allowing the rat brain remnants to steer the robot.

No word yet on when Comedy Central will televise a Rat-bot versus Robo-rat battle-to-the-death.

SUNY's Robo-rat (photo by Catherine Chalmers in NYTimes) versus GaTech's Rat-bot (photo by GATech Neuroengineering Lab in Technology Review)

Rattus norvegicus seems to have pulled far ahead of us homo sapiens in the race toward intimate mammal-machine symbiosis. We'd better rally, lest we find ourselves ferrying cheese to and fro for our new cybernetically-enhanced rat overlords.

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