Home > Robotics > Violent robot makes depressed

Violent robot makes depressed

Did you ever feel depressed? No? Do you want to know how it feels?
Researchers at the Waseda University in Japan developed a robot rat for the only reason to get lab rats depressed as fast as possible. Depressed rats are used for testing of anti-depressiva which would not work using normal lab rats. It does sound strange and I am not morally feeling good with the idea that an animal is made depressed in a lab. Further it seems to be the wrong end to work at as it does not delete the root cause of the depression.

But my point of interest is how the robot rat works. There are three interaction modes the robot uses to make a rat depressed:

  • “chasing”, the robot rat follows the rat throughout the cage but without touching it. The rat gets feared.
  • “continuous attack”, the robot rat continuously bumps into the rat
  • “interactive attack”, the robot rat moves as soon as the other rat moves, it attacks the other rat for a period of time but makes breaks between the attacks

The researchers found out that it is most effective using continuous attack on immature rats and using interactive attacks on mature rats.

Comparing the behavior that we experience in everyday live it is imaginable that the same way the lab rat gets depressed are also true for use, for example situations at work. If you work on a task but get disturbed by a colleague whenever you make a move for a period of time (but not long or intensive enough to be recognizable for other colleagues), it sooner or later makes you either aggressive or so disappointed that you are not willing to work any longer on this task. In difference to the lab rat we can reflect about our behavior and identify such annoying events. We decide how to proceed, like to chose a different task and avoid to work with that person.

Read more:
WASEDA university – the projects research homepage:

original article:

Thank to my colleague who showed me this article.

Categories: Robotics Tags:
  1. bragg
    February 28, 2018 at 21:14

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