Hacking the Worm Brain with a GoPiGo and Raspberry Pi

c elegans neurons map

The C Elegans worm is one of the most-studied animals in science.  In neurobiology, it’s the most basic brain model scientists use to study how the brain works.  Now you can have a robot that thinks like one!

The C Elegans worm brain has been brought to the Raspberry Pi Robot.  The Connectome project has modeled the C Elegans brain into a Python program and made it open-source.  You can download yourself, and have a worm-brained robot running around the house.


Hacking the Worm Brain With a Raspberry Pi Robot

c elegans neurons map

The C Elegans neuron map, courtesy of the Connectome Project.

The C elegans worm has approximately 1000 cells that make up the entire organism.  302 of those cells are neurons.  The neurons form a network that help the worm find food, move muscles, and do whatever it is that worms do.

The program made by the Connectome project takes a map of these cells and models how they’re connected.  The resulting model and code work just like a worm would, but in Python.  And on your Raspberry Pi.

The worm is a simple beast: and spends its life bumping into things and looking for food.  But its simplicitiy is what makes it such a powerful brain model.  The end-result is truly a totally autonomous robot that is reacting to its environment through a simulated brain of a nematode (worm).

Where do I start?

Whether you’re interested in neurobiology or just want to have a worm like robotic creature running around your home, you now can.  The code, a tutorial, and a very in-depth background on the project are available on our GoPiGo site here.

This project was put together by the amazing Connectome Project.  They’re working on building even more sophisticated models, which is exciting for brain-lovers and worm-lovers alike!


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