Bring On The Monkey Mind-Powered Robots

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have trained monkeys to manipulate robotic appendages using the power of their minds, once again proving one solid scientific fact: monkeys kick arse.

Just look at that monkey in the picture there. Is that not the coolest monkey ever? He's manipulating a robotic arm with seven-degrees-of-freedom through two motor neuron sensing pads implanted in the hand and arm area of his brain's motor cortex.

Why? Well if he turns that knob, he gets a tasty beverage, that's why.

Oh, you meant why is professor of neurobiology Dr Andrew Schwartz and his team making the monkey do this, aside from the obvious cool factor?

So we can have robotic arms, of course.

Hooking up the brain directly to machines could one be instrumental in the creation of prosthetics, perhaps even allowing paralysed people to walk again. I imagine a robotic arm, much the same as the one manipulated by this little monkey here, only with a space to house a human arm inside of it.

But this isn't about my imagination. If it were, we'd be talking about controlling giant mechs with the power of our minds. That, or controlling games with our brains, but that's so 2007.

No, this is about the amazing strides science is taking in harnessing the power of the mind. There is no machine more complicated that the brain, and once we harness that power, anything is possible.

Even killer monkey robots. There, I said it.

Advanced Robotic Arm Controlled by Monkey's Thoughts (w/ Video) [PhysOrg.com]


Comments

    Best post of the week IMO.

    This news is actually quite old. It is of use to note that the work being done at the university of pitsburg simply moves the arm based on measureing repeated brain function in the monkey as opposed to being able to read the brains "cognitive map" and interpret it directly which would need to happen for brain connected cybernetics to work. Still a very very very long way until we can fabricate what the story indirectly seems to promise i.e. brain controlled prosthetics etc...

    It is however a notable chapter in the touching story about the relationship between man and monkey, a story I am sure most of would like to hear more about.

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