Damn it, Japan. Osamu Fukayama and his team and the University of Tokyo are studying brain-machine interfaces to help paralyzed people get around. How, you may ask? (But didn’t, because Japan’s involved so you know the answer will be horrifying.)
In the RatCar, tiny neural electrodes were implanted in the motor cortex of rat brains, and the animals were suspended under a lightweight, motorized “neuro-robotic platform” with wheels. The objective was to make the vehicle collaborate with the rats to achieve the locomotion they desire. [IEEE]
The locomotion they desired? Was there an incinerator nearby, because the rat below has a definite “I want to die” look on his face. That picture is after the jump ’cause it’s gross. Before anybody freaks out, that gray stuff on the top of the rat’s head is his scalp, not his brain matter hanging out. Still, Fukayama you, Japan.
[Banner pic via TDW]