The artificial nervous system senses light and learns to emulate people

   A simple nervous system can mimic how humans respond to light and learn to perform basic tasks. This principle can be used to make robots and prosthetics more useful.

   Humans, when faced with external stimuli like heat or light, can respond quickly and automatically - think about how your hands pull away from hot surfaces or how feet lift when typing on the knee. These are unconscious reactions. But conscious reactions, such as ball-catching, have to be honed with repeated stimuli.

   Researchers at Korea's three largest universities have jointly developed an artificial system. It is capable of accurately simulating the conscious response to actual external stimuli. It consists of a photodiode - which converts light into electrical signals, a transistor that acts as an independent mechanical synapse, a complete artificial neural circuit, that acts as the brain and hands of the system. system. robot.
   When the light-emitting diode detects the light, it sends an electrical signal through the transistor indicating the light is on. That signal is sent to the artificial neural circuit. There, the message is received and the circuit then learns to respond to the signal, sending commands to the hand of the robot it controls.
   At the same time when the light is turned on, initiating complete shutdown on the photodiode, a ball is dropped from above the hand. The idea is for the player to learn to hit the hand fast enough to catch the ball.
   This process is similar to the way our eyes transmit electrical signals through synapses to the brain, then pass those signals, decide on action, and send orders to muscles to move - it's all about. within a fraction of a second.
   In the early stages of the experiment, the system's brain converts light signals into manual decisions very slowly. Before "learned" how to react, it took the system 2.56 seconds to do this. After multiple exposure to light signals and allowing time to process tasks, this number drops to 0.23 seconds. The nervous system is mimicking something like a conscious biological response, researchers say.
   This system is not the first to attempt to mimic the biological response humans have to external stimuli. A 2018 article details efforts to regenerate sensory neurons inside the skin, while a 2019 article focuses on the development of artificial synapses. One of the paper's authors even used an artificial nervous system to control the cockroach's limb movement.One of the goals of this type of study is to help people with neurological problems regain control of organs and limbs that they could not control as quickly as before.
   "Device performance shows great promise, especially in human support missions or in the training of motion-based robot systems," said Jonathan Aitken at the University of Sheffield, UK. Mankind.
   Aitken believes the system can be combined with wearable devices that track how humans move to create robots that are trained to work in a similar way. For example, it could allow the robot to perform manual tasks that require a reaction to external circumstances.