In the never-ending quest to develop the Terminator, scientists at the University of Granada [not to be confused with El Granada, CA -ed] are trying to develop a cerebellum-like structure for robots. The device would have neuronal-like circuitry that could coordinate fine motor movements and maintain balance under dynamic conditions. This would allow robots to move around easier and be able to interact safely with humans.
They strangely claim that the development of the device might provide insight into Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Alzheimer’s has little to nothing to do with the cerebellum, and Parkinson’s is a disease of the basal ganglia that affects movement initiation (the cerebellum controls coordination and fine-motor movements). We’ll just have to see what they come up with.
The researchers also stated that robotic skin, which is next in line for development, could be used in conjunction with the device to provide input from all surfaces of the robot. The recent progress in robotics has some people alarmed. The BBC had this to say about it:
The fast pace of current robotics research has prompted deeper questions about how androids would be integrated into human society.
Some have called for a code of ethics for robots while others question how humans will cope in the face of machine intelligence.