Saturday, March 5, 2016

Monkey Steers Wheelchair With It's Little Monkey Mind

He's quite a show-off but the research is probably going to get him a Nobel sometime this decade.
From Gizmodo:
Researchers have developed a wireless brain interface that allows monkeys to control the movements of a robotic wheelchair using their thoughts alone. The breakthrough suggests that similar interfaces could allow severely paralyzed individuals to navigate all sorts of robotic devices with their minds.
Prior to this study, researchers used brain-machine-interfaces (BMIs) to help primates control artificial limbs. But as this new research shows, it’s also possible to take the recordings from cortical implants and use them to facilitate whole-body movement. Though the new research was geared towards the movements of a wheelchair, the findings strongly suggest that more sophisticated robotic devices could be controlled via BMIs, while requiring no physical intervention whatsoever. The details of this work can now be found in Nature’s Scientific Reports.
The new study, headed by brain interface expert Miguel Nicolelis from Duke Health, is the first to succeed at using BMIs for whole body locomotion. By implanting a wireless, high throughput multi-channel device in the brains of monkeys, the researchers demonstrated that the animals can learn to roam freely with an electronic wheelchair using about 300 neurons. The device allowed them to imagine a trajectory from moment-to-moment and navigate towards a target using the wireless connection.
 This Monkey is Controlling a Wheelchair With its Mind
The experiment is part of Nicolelis’s Walk Again Project, which is geared towards technologies that can read the brain waves of paralyzed people and translate them into signals that can control artificial limbs and other assistive devices....MUCH MORE
Previously on Doc Nicolelis:
Nov. 2015
Here's The Most Advanced Human Brain-to-Brain Interface
July 2015
Mind-Meld: Neuroscientists Link Three Monkey Brains Into Living Computer
March 8, 2015
Apr. 23, 2014