Documenting the Coming Singularity

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Robot Cerebellum: Coming in Two Years

The BBC reports on Spanish scientists' efforts to build an artificial cerebellum to be used in humanoid robots.

Robots today don't move very much like humans. They lack the fine motor skills that it took evolution billions of years to get right. But researchers at the "Department of Architecture and Computing Technology at the University of Granada, part of a wider European project dubbed Sensopac," hope to implant an artificial cerebellum into a robot within two years.

The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls motor functions.
The work at the University of Granada is concentrating on the design of microchips that incorporate a full neuronal system, emulating the way the cerebellum interacts with the human nervous system.

Implanting the man-made cerebellum in a robot would allow it to manipulate and interact with other objects with far greater subtlety than industrial robots can currently manage, said researcher Professor Eduardo Ros Vidal, who is co-ordinating work at the University of Granada.
How will humans respond to and interact with robots who move like we do? We will simply find it that much easier to anthropomorphize, which is something we do with not a little alacrity. We will develop ethical guidelines to help us know how to treat them, and eventually we will upload our minds into them. Stay tuned.

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