Rats, Mice, and Robots
Boston University Researchers’ aim: replicate rodents’ location-finding sense, install it in robots
Biologically, says BU scientist Michael Hasselmo, it’s easy to see the benefit of accurate tracking of location. “If a rat is running down an alley and it finds a nice big garbage can filled with leftover Chinese food, it’s very useful to be able to find that location again,” he says. “And conversely, if he is walking down an alley and a cat comes out and chases him, he might want to remember where exactly he got chased."
Ultimately, he says, the goals of the MURI grant include understanding how rats keep track of their location and applying that mechanism to robots, so robots can work as a sidekick to soldiers searching dangerous buildings and alleyways. Ideally, the robots will navigate strange spaces and report back to their human colleagues on the exact locations of bombs and other dangers.
Source: BU Today – Science & Technology
General Manager - Staff Entomologist