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New Brain-machine Interface Lets Monkey Control Two Robotic Arms

Many times, animals are chosen for experiment when any new technology is invented. Lately, a new technology has been invented that lets monkey control two robotic arms.


Monkey Interface

Earlier this year in February, Duke scientists announced such a brain-machine interface that allowed a rhesus monkey to control a single robotic arm from more than 7,000 miles distance. Since then, scientists had been trying to improve the brain-machine interface that could allow a monkey to control two robotic arms at a time.

Virtual Arms of Monkey

Scientists set up two rhesus monkeys in front of a remote video link for experiment. Then they started to monitor approximate 500 neurons of the monkeys to see how they pick up motion signals. Later the monkeys were trained how to cover targets on the screen with the arms. Scientists found that, the training helped the monkeys to gain control over some remote robotic appendages.

As soon as scientists became sure that the basic brain-machine link holds steady through more complex setups that demand more and more of the brain, they announced that they’ve made an improved interface that allows for independent control of two arms, assimilating both mechanical arms into the monkeys’ existing motor control systems.

Scientists now hope that future interfaces modeled on this one will someday help paralysis victims or amputees.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine

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