The general population might not be ready for brain implants for mind-controlled robots, but research on brain interfaces could eliminate the invasive surgery requirements for interacting directly with brain activity — and then everyone might be able to test drive their own thought-controlled robots. Becoming a cyborg might not appeal to everyone, but remote controlled robots that are easy to operate might be a cool toy.
- Next-generation prosthetic limbs will be controlled by a user’s thoughts. Some amputees are already testing prosthetic hands and limbs, and a few patients have reported being able to feel texture using devices that interface with remapped nerves. Modular Prosthetic Limbs (MPLs) have a long term goal of not requiring any surgeries or implants to control a dexterous robot, and the price tags will also need to come down from the half million dollar cost of the prototypes. [url]
- Mind-reading robots can help paralyzed patients interact with common objects more easily. Robot arms are getting much better, but the interface still requires a brain implant. [url]
- A startup called Thync is working on a wearable device that could control your mood using electronic signals to cranial nerves. This brain interface uses transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) which has been tested for treating depression and other medical uses, but this wearable would be used like an electrical replacement for caffeine or alcohol. [url]
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