We currently have 4 robotic platforms which interact with our biological neural networks.
For most of our research we embody our biological neural networks within a simulated robot environment. We use the activity of the neurons as motor control to the bot, and convert the bots sensors as electrical feedback stimulation to the neurons, essentially giveing them senses. We believe that this closed-loop feedback environment is essential for the networks to learn to operate within them.
Pioneer LX autonomous robot
The Pioneer LX autonomous robot is as fully functioning navigational robot often used in factories (such as the Tesla Gigafactory). Equipped with laser and sonar sensors, the robot can create 2D maps, plan routes within its map and avoid obstacles along the way. We are planning to have the robot run autonomously in Glassgården, Gamle-elektro, NTNU. The robot will live stream the neural activty through the LED box (see below) we are developing, and promote NTNU Cyborg and NTNU Biotechnology.
The LED box we are building provides a beautiful live visualization of the activity within the biological neural networks by communicating directly with the MEA. We also plan to incorporate buttons for live stimulation of the neurons which will allow us to visulize their response to stimulation. We may also visualize offline neural data recordings through our database. The LED box can be mounted on top off the Pioneer LX robot, and also functions as a standalone module for use in presentations, conferences and workshops. Prototype video demonstration here.
We recently recieved the newest member to our robot family: Pepper. We plan to connect Pepper to our neurons and thereby make Pepper a human-like Cyborg!
Projects and thesis
A number of students have conducted their specialization projects and master thesis with NTNU Cyborg. Contact us if you would like to too!