What Is It Like to Be a Robot?

What Is It Like to Be a Robot?

Kevin Warwick (University of Reading, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-014-2.ch019
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Abstract

It is now possible to grow a biological brain within a robot body. As an outsider it is exciting to consider what the brain is thinking about, when it is interacting with the world at large, and what issues cause it to ponder on its break times. As a result it appears that it will not be too long before we actually find out what it would really be like to be a robot. Here we look at the technology involved and investigate the possibilities on offer. Fancy the idea of being a robot yourself? Then read on!
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Background To The Technology

The intelligent controlling mechanism of a typical mobile robot is usually a computer or microprocessor system. Research is however now ongoing in which biological neuronal networks are being cultured and trained to act as the brain of a real world robot – either completely replacing or operating in tandem with a computer system. Studying such neuronal systems can help study biological neural structures in general and has immediate medical implications in terms of insights into problems such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Other linked research meanwhile is aimed at assessing the learning capacity of such neuronal networks. To do this a hybrid system has been created incorporating control of a mobile wheeled robot solely by a culture of neurons – a biological brain.

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