Monkey brain controls robot arm, hand

University of Pittsburgh researchers have hooked a monkey's brain up with an industrial robot arm, giving the animal's mere thoughts direct control of it.

Motorlab, University of Pittsburgh

Monkey see, monkey do. And if monkey is a cyborg with a massive robot arm, monkey will do anything it wants.

University of Pittsburgh researchers led by Andrew Schwartz have made a monkey control a seven-axis robot arm and manipulator with its thoughts alone by implanting sensors in the simian's brain.

Like Honda's brain-controlled Asimo experiment, the research is aimed at developing better brain-machine interfaces to give disabled or paralyzed people greater mobility.

The researchers inserted two implants in the animal's motor cortex, covering the arm- and hand-controling areas. The video shows how the monkey controls the large arm and manipulator to make it grasp a black knob positioned in the air by another robot. When it manages to do that, the monkey gets a drink as a reward.

The results of the study are yet to be published, but they build on previous experiments reported in the journal Nature, in which macaques that had brain implants learned to manipulate mechanical arms to feed themselves.

No word yet on when monkey brains will be controlling Asimo.

(Via IEEE Spectrum)

Featured Video
6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

Apple to introduce next iPhone Sept. 9

A ton of new iPhone 6S details have hit; new strange data comes from the Ashley Madison leak; and Instagram says goodbye to the square photograph (sort of).

by Jeff Bakalar