Engineers seem to have a real soft spot for rat/robot combos like the Cyborg Rat, which we took a look at last week, though the AMouse (Artificial Mouse), a fully robotic rat with natural mouse whiskers, looks admittedly nothing like a mouse (we guess they weren't going for the realistic look). We're thinking that rats and labs have gotten a bread-n-butter partnership because, beyond all those lab-friendly characteristics, they tend to score pretty low on the public-sympathy-meter. And though we're not sure of the exact method by which the AMouse gets its real McCoy whiskers, it's probably not such a great outcome for the de-whiskered rats. Engineers at Universities of Tokyo and Switzerland created the AMouse to climb into small spaces and use its whiskers as sensors to detect different changes in environment. They're hoping one day to create robotic whiskers to replace AMouses' borrowed real ones, but until then some unlucky labjockey will have the honorary job as rat-whisker plucker (not to mention the unlucky rats).