Wednesday, March 25, 2009

03-21-09 Roach neurobiology lab

Today, the Future Scientists visited a neurobiology lab at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Roy Ritzmann was generous enough to give the Future Scientists a personalized talk, and he showed how insect behavior and neurophysiology could could be used to develop novel robots that could navigate difficult terrains and make simple decisions. It is hoped that these robots could be used for dangerous missions such as exploring disaster sites or sniffing out bombs among other applications.

Here is a link to Dr. Ritzmann's lab, with cool videos!

Dr. Ritzmann shows off a prototypical robot

Dr. Ritzmann's lab uses tiny electrodes to map out cockroach brain activity, reflexes and how the insects react to stimuli. The Future Scientists visited the "roach room" and decided that the smell was ______ (choose the best answer here):
a.) invigorating
b.) inspiring
c.) vitalizing

A newly christened adult roach has emerged from the nymphs. The pale color will soon caramelize into the sweet roach hue we all know and love.
Showing off the titan death-head roach. It is used more for impressing Future Scientists than for actual science.
No pants!

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