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Re: [Robotgroup] Rats in the news .... and making some neurotrophic electrodes.
From: Bryan Bishop <kanzure@gmail.com>
To: The Robot Group Mailing List <robotgroup@puremagic.com>
Date: 2008-08-15 04:33:04 am
On Thursday 14 August 2008, Def Egge wrote:
> Rise of the rat-brained robots
>         http://tinyurl.com/5rqeug
> India's poor urged to 'eat rats'
>         http://tinyurl.com/5deaaz
> The mind boggles.  The possible futures astound.  YMMV.

Some videos of the ratbrained robot and their discussions:

Captain Cyborg himself has made an appearance on:
        (reading the 'advisers' section is rather fun)

My (old) cache of information re: MEAs.

The trick is the neural tissue cultures and keeping them alive. The
electrodes are relatively simple and it's easy to make some big ones by
hand if you have the materials laying around (that's our cue). The
electronics and so on are well-known ... just hook up a giant
microelectrode to an opamp and poke at it a bit.

For how to make microelectrodes:
(large electrodes via making the glass tips and wrapping the gold wire
and so on.)

According to that above document for the Neurotrophic Electrode, there's
an impedance of about 1 mega ohms "when measured with a 1 kHZ AC
current". I don't know if we can get this to work with, say, a
Parallax ... ;-). Like we were discussing earlier -- "esoteric power
sources" and six-phase crap. Who did we put on that task, anyway?
Where's my phonejacks and Free Energy?

Anyway, in that version of the electrode the neurons grow straight up
into the electrode tip itself, since it's a rather huge deal, and you
supposedly coat it (dip it?) with NGF (nerve growth factor).

I've searched Alibaba and United Nuclear and didn't come up with
anything. But I did find this:


1 mg goes from $500 to $1k. Awesome ... another DIY project?

"An automated home-built low-cost fermenter suitable for large-scale
bacterial expression of proteins in Escherichia coli."

... which I have more notes on:
(I was hoping to one day incorporate:
which is exactly what it calls itself)

Technical notes on these electrodes:

The 'tinytiny microelectrode' version howto:

Anyway, if anybody can help me straighten out feasability issues on
this, it's something I've been meaning to get done anyway for a while
now. I think the main issue is checking the electrical requirements on
the electrodes and making sure there's no noise from, say, a PCB board
that would be taking in the signals from the neurons and so on. How
would I go about checking this /before/ I blow some big bucks on the

- Bryan
Engineers: http://heybryan.org/exp.html
irc.freenode.net #hplusroadmap