Yesterday I posted a news with progress towards a symbiotic eye. Today let me point you to the capability to implant a chip on the brain to detect “thoughts” and actuate them through a robot.
The news is on Wired and it is surely worth taking a look since it represents the completion of the interaction from the brain to the machine.
The news reports of a patient that suffers from a paralyses since 1998. She has become part of a team of researcher in 2005, trying to create a link from her brain to a robot. A chip was implanted on her brain to capture the electrical waves generated by her thoughts. These waves are decoded by a computer into signals to a robot that will act according to the patient thoughts. The diagram shows the various steps involved in this feat. Never before scientist have managed to move directly from a thought to its implementation by a robot.
Clearly, it is an encounter at a middle point between Cathy and the robot. She had to learn to think in a certain way to generate waves that can be recognized by the computer, but still it is an amazing result. It will be a very long time before we will be able to read your mind, and may be this is just too scaring to be desirable. But for people like Cathy, having this kind of disabilities, technology evolution means a lot.