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A monkey controls a wheelchair with its brain

Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina have managed to detect the thoughts of a monkey via Hair-thin microfilaments in two regions of the monkey’s brain.

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This wheelchair is being controlled by brain power


Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina have managed to detect the thoughts of a monkey via Hair-thin microfilaments in two regions of the monkey’s brain. Those signals are converted to movement and the monkey can complete a task, in this case reach a bowl of grapes.

Brain-control of a wheelchair has been demonstrated before. This is a demonstration by Toyota in 2009. It used electroencephalography to detect brainwaves through many sensors on the skull and requires a complex headset and lots of wires.

The Duke system is wireless, but also invasive. However, roughly 70 percent of paralyzed patients are said to be willing to accept surgically implanted electrodes in their brains if it gives them greater control over their lives.

Next, scientists will try to increase the number of neuronal signals they record to increase the accuracy of the system. Only after that will they think about human trials.