Scientists Put the Brain of a Worm Into a Robot… and It MOVED

Scientists Put the Brain of a Worm Into a Robot… and It MOVED


Worms. They’re weird, primitive creatures that
seem to just squirm around senselessly. BUT this simplistic behavior is exactly what
we are looking for in our endeavours to digitize a living brain. Now look at this. This..this looks like a robot being controlled
by an ewok. But actually, this robot isn’t being controlled
AT ALL. What you are looking at is a copy of the brain
of a Caenorhabditis elegans, or C. elegans. This is the digital brain of a worm ON a computer
chip IN a lego robot. This little guy is a simulated brain navigating
on its own. Well, navigating the best way a wormbot can. The scientists put sensors on their robots
“noses” and “tails”so if they meet a wall, they know to turn around. Just like the C.elegans. But, as simple as this robot seems to be,
getting to this point took a long time. Researchers spent decades looking at each
and every cell in the C.Elegans,and at how each cell works with the cells around it. Then other researchers built a program that
could mimic that interaction.Each one of these boxes represents a neuron interacting with
the environment. They could do this, because scientists have
a complete map of every single cell in the C.Elegans and their functions. It’s the worm’s CONNECTOME, and it holds
around 1000 cells and all 302 neurons of this little worm. So, once you’ve digitized how every cell
and neuron interact, you have the digital version of the C. Elegans brain! Sort of. By simulating a brain at a cellular level,
the researchers can watch the larger aspects, like movement, emerge…naturally. Or, put another way, they turned it on and
let the wormbot be a worm… bot. To do this they took the connectome, some
algorithms, and a precise anatomical map and combined them. Then they threw it in a simulator — which
is super complicated, and I don’t really understand how it all works — but the important
thing is what happened once they flipped it on. The robot behaved like a living C.Elegans! Well, almost. The researchers are starting small. They want to get the neuron’s interacting
with the “muscles” of the robot. It still doesn’t have independent instinct,
it’s not going to start looking for food or anything yet. Those behaviours are definitely on the agenda
for our researchers, but they just want to get the digital organism moving first. Now, I know what you’re thinking, is this
a huge step towards some crazy scientists digitizing and uploading human brains into
robuts! AHH!! But, no. Not really. No. These scientists are mapping this worm’s
brain and creating an accurate digital simulation because WE still don’t know a lot about
how OUR brain works. This project’s success could completely
change the way we map and understand our own brain. Plus, with this application we could possibly
get rid of squishy living organisms in labs and could rely on computer simulations instead. There’s nothing to fear… C.elegans are only 1mm long.It will take a
while before we start digitizing your brains guys. For more science in your day, subscribe to
Seeker and are you wondering how our brains power our thoughts in the first place? We explain it right here. Did you know that the C.elegans is the first
animal and currently, ONLY animal with an entirely mapped connectome? Pretty cool. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Scientists Put the Brain of a Worm Into a Robot… and It MOVED”

  1. So if we master this we could goto Mar lol and scan a living thing and it's going study it for us we get the feed back from it speed up study in space

  2. Worms are not primitive creatures. Research shows they, like insects, arachnids, fish, reptiles, mammals, birds and everything else think and feel, have subjective experience and the capability for consciousness that we have. Even if they didn't they are still living beings either way and all life should be treated with love, care and respect.

  3. Progress in brain simulation is rapid. It took researchers 5 years to scan this brain and simulate it. In 2019 the Howard Hughes institute was able to scan 5 fly brains per day. At that rate it would take under 7 days to build an entire human cortical column that's 10 000 times faster than in 2013. In terms of compute in 2019 you can order a graphcore single rack computer for under 100 000 dollars that computes at 500 petaflops that's like the entire left side if the human brain. And next year tachyum will turn on a 34 exaflop supercomputer , cable of a full brain simulation

  4. i think they should put a human brain in a robot and remove breathing and stuff and send it to space. or mars. it will make space exploration alot better but it will take a long time. well. your atleast a robot

  5. the sad part is how interesting this video is and the fact that you didnt even NEED to clickbait that hard

  6. Does this hint that the argument that AI can’t happen because simply simulating a brain won’t make a thinking entity may be wrong?

  7. First: BOBIVERSE IS COMING! ALL HAIL THE ALMIGHTY BOB. (Audible exclusive series, very good stuff)
    Second, this isn't click bait, you just don't understand what they're trying to do. No one who understands this concept thought "Ooh! They put the squishy organic 'almost brain' of a worm and put it in an electronic robot made of plastic and metal and the squishy brain drove the metal like it was its own body?" Nope, that's sci-fi nonsense, why would you? Immortality is the aim, so why keep the always rotting and super needy carbon form of your brain, when you can just upload that to the cloud, and be free of entropy itself? Now, scanning, mapping, and transferring worm brain to digital? Ah yeah, that's the real good stuff. That means you just need to wait for 3D scanning and 3D printing to progress far enough, and we are Bob!

  8. Okay, somehow no one else I have seen has brought this up. Of course the rest of this worm’s senses being implemented would be a somewhat impressive step, the robot itself is currently an extremely unimpressive feat. You can easily make one of these robots at home with a simple robotics kit. I even recognized the exact type that was used in the video and I was able to program it to do much more than what it did in this video at twelve years old and I’m assuming almost anyone can do it too.

  9. This title is clickbaity.
    They didnt put a brain in the robot. They made an algorithm that they thought would mimic the neural patterns of the creature. Not the same at all.

  10. does this mean i can put my brain in a robot hanging from the ceiling and control an entire facility under ground for Science • _ •

  11. we need to do this for humans… hurry,,..pull the brain out,, slap it in a bad ass terminator t-800 and wake up 2 years later like wtf…

  12. Do scientists have anything better 2 research? Or do they have it all figured out so they just feed us random crap

  13. I can figure out that this video was highly promoted from seeing this comment section being full of idiots and their useless jokes.

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