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Businesses Science Technology

What's the Business Model For Commercializing Cyborgs? 43

An anonymous reader points out an article about Backyard Brains, a small company notable for turning cockroaches into cyborgs. The article explores how such an odd use of science and technology can actually form the basis of a business. They primarily work with educational organizations to bring their brand of DIY neuroscience to students and other interested parties. School budgets are often small, so a key part of Backyard Brains's goal is to make things inexpensive. "We want to inspire a generation of citizen-scientists. If we can lower the barrier to entry so the only limit is creativity, that might help with finding treatments for neurological disorders." As they find success, they're developing more research kits, and finding more ways to make cyborg insects into a business.
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What's the Business Model For Commercializing Cyborgs?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Cyborg sex dolls. Japan already invented this business model in anime.

    • More like "Your payment of $45.68 for continued use of your enhancements today has exceeded your credit limit. Please have someone make the payment for you to reenable the use of them." (you "hear" this in your head as you lie on the floor, unable to move)

  • GODDAMNED CYBORGS WILL BE THE DEATH OF US ALL!!!!11!1!!!!!!!

    my apologies to silicon valley. liberties taken with actual quote.

  • Provide neurosurgery and implant at subsidized contract price. Charge consumer 'brainst genuine advantage' subscription fee for privilege of not being locked out of all inputs and outputs, trapped in a solipsistic hell-world of unimaginable ennui where time has no meaning and consumer begs in vain for death's sweet release. Is compelling sales pitch, no? Also, you can use cyborg body as nimble bio-robot while customer 'considers' sunscription payment. Generate extra income from otherwise wasted labor asset.
  • Backyard Brains, a small company notable for turning cockroaches into cyborgs.

    Get the cyborg cockroaches to scavenge for parts and start converting other cockroaches into cyborgs too. Once you have enough, you demand "One Billion Dollars" from the governments of the world, or risk being invaded by terminator roaches.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      http://people.csail.mit.edu/brooks/papers/fast-cheap.pdf

  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2015 @04:54PM (#49676859)

    Is this "cyborg" as in "Allows the paralyzed to walk," "Allows the small-dicked to be big-dicked," "Allows a soldier or cop to be bulletproof"?

    Or is it "cyborg" as in "We can't actually do anything that anyone would pay for yet, and probably never will."

    Because if it's the former, just issue a press release and stand back. If it's the latter, then the answer is "You can't."

    • "Allows the small-dicked to be big-dicked,"

      I don't know about that, but I do know a man in his late '70s who had a pump and reservoir installed to work around certain issues that were getting in the way of proper marital relations. It worked so well that he eventually wore it out after about ten years and had it replaced.
  • Robot horses with A.I. that can negotiate a battlefield are a reality already. Artificial Intelligence poses an increasing potential threat. Give a dexterous robot A.I. behaviour, and it becomes a threat, and - with access to weapons - potentially deadly. The interface between behavioural and physical "presence" needs taming. A combination of programmatic behaviour and physical intelligence could work well. Maybe it's only a matter of time before we're all f**cked by the machine(s): https://www.youtube.com [youtube.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Robot horses with A.I. that can negotiate a battlefield are a reality already.

      No, some very loud prototype, tethered, horse-sized robots have been show to be able to walk up a hill.

      Artificial Intelligence poses an increasing potential threat.

      No, but it can do pretty good on Jeopardy--just as long as you type in all the questions in advance and let it have a high speed internet connection to access at all times.

      Give a dexterous robot A.I. behaviour, and it becomes a threat, and - with access to weapons - potentially deadly.

      No, it probably just becomes a robot that even the stupidest human soldier can defeat by tipping it over or doing something even remotely unexpected.

  • For instance, if your cyborg cockroaches could wash the dishes or sweep the floor, I'm sure they'd sell like hotcakes!
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Well, according to certain industry spokespersons, there is a shortage of cockroach coders.

  • Of ethically challenged humans.

  • 1. at least, public school systems aren't. yes, they don't spend enough on this, and spend too much on that, but they aren't small. 2. business model? start with sales and marketing. then you can raise your own budget when you put them as the primary focus. 3. citizen-scientists? we're all citizens of somewhere. how about just plain-old scientists?
    • by khallow ( 566160 )

      at least, public school systems aren't. yes, they don't spend enough on this, and spend too much on that, but they aren't small.

      Some public schools are in that category. And some public schools are in the category of only having a chemistry class because the teacher donated equipment.

  • So, in short, similar to nail salon workers or shrimping boat workers.

  • Because "citizen-scientists" don't require any liability on our part we'll just wait for the body-mod scene to figure out the details of implant rejection and how best to jam something under the skin for the long term.
  • every step towards automation is said to be useful for some purpose; but the problem is that it will not only be used for good purpose but also for crime, and thats where things get complicated: is technology solving problems or creating more?
  • Currently a human can quite easily have a hip replacement, pacemaker, artificial breasts and a cochlear implant.

    Some people are getting magnets installed in their hands - to detect electro magnetic fields and others get an NFCS chip in the hand - to unlock any electronic lock coded to it. Those tend be done in Tattoo parlors.

    They can also implant other things. Real life Geordie is here - his name is Neil Harbisson. He was born color blind but has an antenaa installed in his head. It directly connects

  • Whatever it is, you can count me out! I already have ocular implants and adjustable, augmented hearing and that's as bionic as I want to be!
  • >>> "We want to inspire a generation of citizen-scientists. If we can lower the barrier to entry so the only limit is creativity, that might help with finding treatments for neurological disorders." ...and besides, making it easy to send uncomfortably large pulses of electricity directly into the middle of a cockroach's brain is waaay cool

  • They've done cockroaches; next up is sharks with lasers implanted in their heads.

  • The business model is finding Sara Connor.

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie

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