Monkeys brain controls robot arm

One step closer to monkey robot domination:

With the probes inserted into the monkeys motor cortices, computer software was used to interpret the brains electrical impulses and translate them into movement through the robotic arm.

This arm was jointed like a human arm and possessed a “gripper” that mimics a hand.

After some training, two monkeys – who had had their own arms restrained – were able to use the prosthetic limbs to feed themselves with marshmallows and chunks of fruit.

For some reason, the BBC is reporting on a 3-year-old story, but it’s still cool and there’s a video, so I’ll post it anyway.

Humans making human brains

blue brain

It sounds like a pretty monumental task:

In a laboratory in Switzerland, a group of neuroscientists is developing a mammalian brain – in silicon. The researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), in collaboration with IBM, have just completed the first phase of an ambitious project to reproduce a fully functioning brain on a supercomputer. By strange coincidence, their lab happens to lie on the same shores of Lake Geneva where Mary Shelley dreamt up her creation, Dr Frankenstein.

But it has really cool implications:

The model is there to unify the data and test that it works. A neurobiologist who wants to test a certain theory of how a specific brain function, such as memory retention and retrieval, works can use Blue Brain to do so. The model will be open to the entire world’s research community.