We've reported a lot of advances in direct brain communication this year including a monkey with a brain implant that allows it to control a computer. The latest development comes from John Chapin's Lab at the SUNY Health Science Center, where "Ratbots", lab rats with brain implants, are being remoted controlled by scientists. A Nature article describes the research and has photos of the ratbots. The original press release is also available. The purpose of the research is to create search-and-rescue rats that can find disaster victims or do other types of reconnaissance. While robots are easier to make, 200 million years of evolution has given rats a huge advantage in navigating over obstacles that even the most advanced robots can't handle.