Two tech scientists from the sate of Virginia have developed a model which will allow robots to have bacteria controlled brains. The technological advancement is based on a mathematical formula which integrates machines with bacteria that communicate with one another.
The researches admitted to having two main reasons for conducting the study – one is that the project might help them better understand how bacteria manage to control human brains, and the other is that they simply wanted to build real robots with a hive mind of bacteria.
Ruder, an assistant professor of biological systems engineering who works at the College of Agriculture and Life sciences as well as the College of Engineering, gave a statement saying that “Basically we were trying to find out from the mathematical model if we could build a living microbiome on a nonliving host and control the host through the microbiome”. He went on to add that robots may actually “be able to have a working brain”.
While giving AIs bacteria controlled brains may seen like a shocking development at first glance, field experts point out that roughly 90 percent (90%) of the human body is composed out of microbes that are native to a normal human physiology. They’re an essential element in the digestive system, where food is being broken down and the body absorbs nutrients.
These food breaking bacteria have also been proven to use a neuron called “vagus nerve” in order to communicate with the human brain. In fact, this is the exact reason why people sometimes wake up late at night and have an unexplainable, strong craving for specific foods. Gut bacteria send signals to the brain and inform it that the body needs nutrients.
Some researchers even believe that certain microbes contribute to the personalities that people develop and that they are responsible for controlling many of our actions. But not all microbes in the human body are good as others are also being held responsible for the development of certain mental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism.
The researcher plan on using these bacteria controlled robots to study how the less friendly microbes attack the brains and control the bodies of living organisms.
So far, the two tech scientists from Virginia have only run computer simulations, however they have every intention of soon building at least one of these robots.
Once the researchers have a full understanding of how the biochemical sensing capabilities of living organisms work, they can apply them to robots used in the fields of agriculture and healthcare.
Bacteria controlled robots in the field of agriculture may help gather information on the biochemical interactions that occur between livestock and soil bacteria, while bacteria controlled robots in the field of healthcare may help researchers get a better sense of just how much power bacteria have over the human body.
One major advanced in the field of medicine would be the development of prescription treatments based on specific bacteria that can help heal patients suffering from physical problems, as well as patients suffering from mental disorders.
The study was published earlier this month, on July 16, 2015, in the journal Scientific Reports.
Image Source: bbcimg.co.uk