This film clip describes how neuroscientists have controlled the movements of a humanoid robot using a brain-computer interface (BCI) embedded in the motor cortex of a monkey.

I’ve written about BCIs before, so I won’t go into details here. For more information about how they work, follow the links at the bottom, and for more about this particular device, there’s an article in the NY Times by Sandra Blakeslee.

The main difference here is that the monkey and the robot were more than 7,000 miles apart: the monkey was in Miguel Nicolelis‘s lab at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, while the robot, which was designed by Gordon Cheng and his colleagues, was at the ATL Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan. The monkey’s decoded brain activity was transmitted between the two locations via a fast internet connection.



  1. #1 DuWayne
    January 19, 2008

    It just gets ever more exciting, though I can also think of some significant negatives (seeing the outsourcing of machine control jobs on the horizon). OTH, it would also mean a huge leap in how certain machines are controlled.

  2. #2 gary maloney
    March 11, 2010

    Monkeys do teleoperate with their limbs constrained. You take away the motivation or impetus for the movement so they are not really trying to move. So is this about keeping the monkey still of its own accord?

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