By developing a model for robots with bacteria-controlled brains, scientists have marked a breakthrough discovery. Virginia Tech scientist, Warren Ruder used a mathematical model to demonstrate that bacteria can control the behavior of an inanimate device like a robot.
Scientist Warren Ruder said that they were trying to find out from the mathematical model if they could build a living microbiome on a nonliving host and control the host through the microbiome. Ruder, who added that they found that robots might indeed be able to have a working brain, is building real-world robots that will have the ability to read bacterial gene expression levels in E. coli using miniature fluorescent microscopes.
The robots will respond to bacteria which Ruder will engineer in his lab. The findings also added to the ever-growing body of research about bacteria in the human body that are thought to regulate health and mood, and especially the theory that bacteria also affect behavior. Ruder's study was inspired by real-world experiments where the mating behavior of fruit flies was manipulated using bacteria, as well as mice that exhibited signs of lower stress when implanted with probiotics.
The study is published in Scientific Reports