If you’re not big on scientific tests on monkeys, you might not want to read this. But if you’re into crazy, super revolutionary technology that might lead to a future where humans can control robots with with their brains, well, read on.
Researchers at Brown University have created the first brain-computer interface that doesn’t need to be attached to a computer. It’s implantable, rechargeable, long-term, and looks like a pacemaker attached to the top of a skull. From the wearer’s skull, the implanted device connects a 100-electrode wire to the motor cortex, the part of the brain that is involved with planning, control, and the execution of voluntary movements. Earlier versions of the technology allowed a woman to control a robotic arm, and a monkey was able to move cursors across a computer screen. The new technology means the wearers won’t have to be strapped into a chair matrix-style in order to move the device.
So far, the new technology has been implanted in monkeys and pigs for about 13 months without issues. Humans are next in line. Well, not until scientists can keep the device from heating up to almost four degrees fahrenheit while it’s charging--when that happens, they've had to cool down their subjects with ice water. Once they achieve this, scientists may better study brain disorders in humans.
[via The Verge]