A Robot to Make Rats Depressed

Marco van Beers
February 15th 2013

The robot in the picture above chases and attacks the living rat rights besides it. The W-3, as the robot is named, is designed to make rats seriously depressed. In fact, this robot is one of the best methods to induce depression in lab rats.

Making a rat depressed might seem strange or even unethical, but researchers have already done it for years. After all, you can't develop antidepressants without having depressed rats to test them on. Current methods to make rats depressed, like making them swim for hours or giving them electric shocks, do not quite mimic the day-to-day situations humans go through. Therefore, the researchers at Tokyo's Waseda University developed a robot that more precisely mimics the social stressors that can trigger depression in humans.

I wonder how a depression-inducing robot for humans might look.

Story via Spectrum IEEE.

Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!public: 1

3 comments

Saccus Bag
Posted 30/05/2013 – 18:31

All you do-gooders full of viertue! This is an effect of YOU!

Ciantic
Posted 17/02/2013 – 19:50

You saying this robot rat "chases and attacks the living rat rights besides it" -- and got no video!?
What a bummer, I'd love to see such an agile robot in action, cause catching a living rat ain't an easy task.
Though I suspect in reality they put the living rat and this robot rat to some pipe / enclosed space...

Allison Guy
Posted 15/02/2013 – 15:57

I think I have a good idea of machines that induce depression in humans: Cars, photocopiers, x-ray machines in airports, etc...

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