Scientists have put a worm’s brain into a Lego robot’s body - and it works
C. elegans is a little nematodes that have been extensively studied by scientists - we know all of their genes and their nervous system has been analysed many times.
Now a collective called the OpenWorm project has mapped all the connections between the worm’s 302 neurons and managed to simulate them in software, as Marissa Fessenden reports for the Smithsonian.
The ultimate goal of the project is to completely replicate C. elegans as a virtual organism, but for now, they’ve only managed to simulate its brain, and they’ve now uploaded that into a simple Lego robot.
This Lego robot has all the equivalent limited body parts that C. elegans has - a sonar sensor that acts as a nose, and motors that replace its motor neurons on each side of its body.
Amazingly, without any instruction being programmed into the robot, the C. elegans brain upload controlled and move the Lego robot.