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A hybrot (short for "hybrid robot") is a cybernetic organism in the form of a robot controlled by a computer consisting of both electronic and biological elements. The biological elements are typically rat neurons connected to a computer chip.

This feat was first accomplished by Dr. Steve Potter, a professor of biomedical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology:

What separates a hybrot from a cyborg is that the latter term is commonly used to refer to a cybernetically enhanced human or animal; while a hybrot is an entirely new type of creature constructed from organic and artificial materials. It is perhaps helpful to think of the hybrot as "semi-living", a term also used by the hybrot's inventors.[2]

Another interesting feature of the hybrot is its longevity. Neurons separated from a living brain usually die after only a couple of months. However, due to a specially designed incubator built around a gas-tight culture chamber selectively permeable to carbon dioxide, but impermeable to water vapor, reduces the risk of contamination and evaporation, and may extend the life of the hybrot to one to two years.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Piquepaille, Roland (2002-12-18). "A Hybrot, the Rat-Brained Robot". Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  2. ^ "Multielectrode Array Art". NeuroLab. Archived from the original on 2010-07-02. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  3. ^ Potter, Steve; DeMarse, Thomas (30 Sep 2001). "A new approach to neural cell culture for long-term studies". Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 110 (1-2): 17–24. doi:10.1016/S0165-0270(01)00412-5. PMID 11564520 
  4. ^ "Georgia Tech Researchers Use Lab Cultures To Control Robotic Device". ScienceDaily. 2003-04-28. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 


  • Thomas B. DeMarse; Daniel A. Wagenaar; Axel W. Blau; Steve M. Potter (2001). "The Neurally Controlled Animat: Biological Brains Acting with Simulated Bodies". Autonomous Robots. 11 (3): 305. doi:10.1023/A:1012407611130. PMC 2440704Freely accessible. 
  • Shkolnik, A. C. Neurally Controlled Simulated Robot: Applying Cultured Neurons to Handle and Approach/Avoidance Task in Real Time, and a Framework for Studying Learning In Vitro. In: Potter, S. M. & Lu, J.: Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science. Emory University, Atlanta (2003).
  • Wagenaar, D. A.; Demarse, T. B.; Taketani, M.; Baudry, M. New York (2006). "Closing the Loop: Stimulation Feedback Systems for Embodied MEA Cultures". Advances in Network Electrophysiology Using Multi-Electrode Arrays: 215–242. 

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