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Computer Control Implants for the Paralyzed 239

unassimilatible writes: "The Boston Globe is reporting that Cyberkinetics Inc. is about to ask federal regulators for permission to start testing a device that would enable paralyzed people to control computers directly with their brains or possibly help them move their limbs. Initially, the device, implanted into the brains of paralyzed people, will help them control a cursor on a screen or play video games. Researchers believe the technology could one day enable paralyzed people to type, control lights and heating controls, maneuver wheelchairs, or even manipulate robotic arms. I, for one, look forward to playing Stephen Hawking in Unreal Tournament 2004."
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Computer Control Implants for the Paralyzed

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  • What about me!? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Leolo ( 568145 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @03:51PM (#7419065) Homepage
    Why only paralysed people? Why can't I have a cortical link? IMHO, all current computer I/O devices SUCK. Screens are limited. Keyboards are pain. And don't get me started on mice! I hate having to sit at my desk to use the computer. Why can't I pace up and down the room?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07, 2003 @04:05PM (#7419202)
    No one is reading your thoughts and translating them into movement. You get a biofeedback system to you have to be trained to use. And with biofeedback, you get lazy movements of a curser, not fast or precise enough for typing, or much of anything useful. I bet we'll be growing spinal cord before we have a true neural translator that could generate movement from pure thoughts of movement.
  • Duke University (Score:4, Interesting)

    by falconed ( 645790 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @04:18PM (#7419328)
    This tech works -- this article [] talks about a team of researchers at Duke that were able to connect sensors to a monkey's brain and then use the brain patters to drive a robot arm. As the monkey reached for food, so would the arm. The cool part is that the arm was located in a lab 950km away.

    My coworker (a Duke alum) told me that the researchers then tied down the monkey's arm and asked it to reach for the food again. The monkey's arm didn't move, but the robotic arm did. I can't find any articles on that, but here's [] one about some monkey's playing video games just by thinking it. Cool stuff.

  • Hypothetical (Score:3, Interesting)

    by El ( 94934 ) on Friday November 07, 2003 @04:48PM (#7419651)
    So, if your thought-controlled cybernetic arm pinches your coworkers butt, are you still guilty of sexual harrassment? "But, your honor, I was only thinking about doing that!" Sounds like a whole new legal can of worms with regards to people being responsible for their actions...

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!