Chinese researchers create 'human-on-chip' system using brain matter to create 'organoid' robot

Researchers at Tianjin University and the Southern University of Science and Technology in China have developed a novel technology known as a “human-on-chip” system. This system integrates human brain matter with a neural interface chip to create a hybrid “organoid” robot. The goal of this technology is to merge the brain’s electrical signals with external computing power for advanced brain-like computing.

The system uses an artificial brain grown in a controlled laboratory environment, similar to a “brain-like organ,” which can interact with external information via encoding, decoding, and stimulus feedback when combined with electrode chips. The brain-like organ is created through stem cell technology in a process that allows the researchers to produce simplified versions of brain tissue that mimic certain aspects of human brain development and function.

Although the concept of brain-computer interfaces is not new, the best-known company exploring the technology is Elon Musk’s Neuralink Corp. Unlike the Chinese researchers, Neuralink doesn’t grow brain tissue and merge it with chips. Recently, Neuralink became the first company to implant a brain chip, but the Chinese technology is different due to the integration of brain tissue with chips.

The Chinese brain-on-chip interface systems have shown the ability to instruct a robot to avoid obstacles, track, and grasp through what is being described as “mind control.” To demonstrate the technology, the researchers have put the brain-on-chip interface into a humanoid robot.

Professor Li Xiaohong, from Tianjin University, stated that brain organoids are considered the most promising model of basic intelligence. However, the technology faces challenges, such as low developmental maturity and insufficient nutrient supply.

Despite any disturbing aspects of the technology and comparisons to Frankenstein’s monster, the potential benefits are significant. This technology could lead to the creation of thinking robots and new treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders and brain damage. The researchers have suggested that brain organoid transplants may be a promising strategy for restoring brain function by replacing lost neurons and reconstructing neural circuits.

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