lego-robot-wormWhen we call, nay, insult someone with the term “bird brain”, we are more or less dissing the lack of grey matter up there, which has resulted to some really foolish actions. Perhaps you can boil it down to inexperience or immaturity, it does not matter, there are some moments in life when during a moment of weakness, we end up with some rather hare brained decisions. Having said that, we have not come across the term of “worm brain” – perhaps this could be due to the possibility of having a robot that is made up from Lego parts to be controlled by the brain of a caenorhabditis elegans, which is the fancy scientific name for the humble roundworm.

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Scientists that work on the Open Worm project managed to obtain the connections between the 302 neurons of a worm’s brain, before simulating them in software, which were then uploaded to a robot that is made up of Lego parts. Of course, this is a very simple robot, where it will be able to react to its sensory environment thanks to the presence of a sonar sensor that is located along the body, moving using the motors that have been embedded down its side. “

It was noted in a Smithsonian magazine that “the behavior is impressive considering that no instructions were programmed into this robot. All it has is a network of connections mimicking those in the brain of a worm.” Pretty cool, no? The main aim of the Open Worm project would be to develop a virtual worm within a computer.

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