Researchers at MIT have come up with a new experiment that raises the question, "Where do you draw the line between science and simply having too much time on your hands?"
Robosnail: Science or sex toy?By Ashlee Vance in Chicago
Lurking in MIT's Fluid Dynamics Lab is a rather large creature known as Robosnail. At first glance, the contraption appears to be a sophisticated sexual aid. It has a battery powered motor mounted on top of a goo-covered, plastic layer.
Scientists working on the project have used a pair of different lubricants to mimic snail locomotion. Silicon oil and a combination of glycerin and water seem to have done the trick. We're quite sure they've secretly tried KY Jelly as well.
Studying snail movement must have some merits. They're interesting enough creatures, but is this really how MIT professors should spend their time?
The real cutting edge research is taking place in slug execution. The Slug-X Trap is a finely tuned apparatus that makes use of Newton's fourth beer principle, which states that any snail attracted to a beer-baited trap will not escape it sober or alive.
The MIT Robosnail appears too large to succumb to the Slug-X Trap, but some frat boys at a nearby school are sure to come up with something to catch the beast.
and further reading
The First Roborat
The Good Drug Guide
Rats, roborats and ratbots
Electrical Brain Stimulation
Critique of Brave New World
The Orgasm Command-Center
The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator
Wireheads and Wireheading in Science Fiction
Pleasure Evoked by Electrical Stimulation of the Brain