Okay, I don’t really have anything to say about this other than…it’s…a…Rat Car!
This totally makes sense. I mean, why wouldn’t you attach a rat to a motorized “car” that operates via the rat’s brain waves? That’s definitely something that we need to have in the world.
This article from PopSci gives a bit of an explanation as to what the heck this is all about…apparently,
The rat is suspended from a small lightweight “neuro-robotic platform,” as IEEE Spectrum reports. The goal is to make the vehicle and the rat work together to move forward. Brain-control interfaces like this could be a boon for people with locked-in syndrome or various other disabilities.
Researchers trained the rats by making them tow the car, motors turned off, around an enclosed area. A camera tracked the rats’ movement and fed data into a modeling program, which pieced together signals from the motor cortex. Then, the rats were hung from the car so their limbs barely touched the floor. The researchers switched the motors on, and as they tried to move, their neural signals were used to drive the car. Six out of eight rats adapted well and were able to get around with the car, according to IEEE Spectrum.
Even with all these details, it’s still…odd.
I guess someone somewhere sees this as a practical, necessary invention…and it probably is. It’s also probably pretty neat to say “yeah, I hooked up a rat to a box and made the robo box act as the rat’s arms and legs via brain waves”, but that’s something I won’t ever be able to say.