“A great science fiction detective story” - Ian Watson, author of The Universal Machine
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Researchers at the University of Granada in Spain have developed an artificial cerebellum — really a biologically-inspired adaptive microcircuit — that provides finely tuned motor control for robots that can operate more safely in an environment shared with humans.
The safety issues arising from shared human/robot environments is a subject we’ve dealt with previously on this page, notably in the posts:
- The Skin We Live In: Skin for Robots, the Mechanics + the Meaning, and
- Robot Sex Week (Part IV): Touch-A Touch-A Touch-A Touch Me, I Wanna Be Dirty.
More recently, researchers in Israel implanted an artificial cerebellum in a rat. As reported by New Scientist:
Matti Mintz of Tel Aviv University in Israel and his colleagues have created a synthetic cerebellum which can receive sensory inputs from the brainstem – a region that acts as a conduit for neuronal information from the rest of the body. Their device can interpret these inputs, and send a signal to a different region of the brainstem that prompts motor neurons to execute the appropriate movement.
“It’s proof of concept that we can record information from the brain, analyse it in a way similar to the biological network, and return it to the brain,” says Mintz.