Monkey Thinks Robot into Action

A monkey at the University of Pittsburgh is able to use a robotic arm to feed himself using only the power of brain signals.
"It's the first time a monkey--or a human--is directly, with their brain, controlling a real prosthetic arm," says Krishna Shenoy, a neuroscientist at Stanford University who was not involved in the research.

People who suffer from strokes or spinal cord injury, or from some neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are often left paralyzed. But their cerebral cortices--the parts of the brain that control movement, planning, and other functions--may remain largely intact. Scientists hope to capitalize on that with the development of brain machine interfaces--devices that convert brain activity into action, such as movement of a cursor on a computer screen.

Two monkeys in the experiment had previously learned to move the robotic arm using a joystick. In the brain wave experiment, their arms were temporarily restrained. Link (with video) -Thanks, Bill!

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Not brainwaves... the procedure is invasive, the ribbon cable to the monkey's cranium is hidden. You don't have to read brainwaves when the subject is wired... you can read individual neurons.
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Archbob, I'm sure if it was torture the monkey would not be so happy to eat the food at that moment.

And wow, I wonder what the monkey thinks about this technology... I wonder if he thinks it's actually an extra arm of his, or what. Whatever it is I bet he thinks humans are crazy.
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The technology isn't all that new, we've been able to hook robots to brains for a couple of years now, with varying success. We're just getting higher on the food chain of robots.
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