Robo-Rat Created to Depress Normal Rats

The assumption was that depressed rats moved around less

By Sebastian Pop on February 12th, 2013 15:51 GMT

Lots of things are justified by scientists through use of the words “for science” and since some experiments would completely ignore human rights, they use animals instead.

Rats are the most common test subjects, as Researchers at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, have once again shown.

A team led by Hiroyuki Ishii created a robotic rat whose sole reason to exist was to torment live rats.

More specifically, the robo-rat was tasked with pushing two groups of 12 rats into depression.

One group was treated to the WR-3, as the robo-rat is called, attacking them intermittently, while the other group suffered attacks whenever one rat moved.

The level of depression was measured by the rather questionable assumption that depressed rats moved around less.

By that reckoning, the rats attacked intermittently suffered the worst of it, especially if they were harassed in their youth.

The WR-3 is part of a broader effort to create models of psychological conditions on which new drugs can be tested.
Robo-rat in action
   Robo-rat in action
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