Sci/Tech Researchers devise brain-machine interface with a sense of touch

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Imagine: a robotic prosthetic arm that you can not only control with your brain, but actually feel when it touches something. This might sound like science fiction, but a team of researchers designed and tested a system with monkeys that does just this. They call their setup a "brain-machine-brain interface," or BMBI, and it has the potential to give amputees closer-to-normal functionality.

Brain-machine interfaces (BMI) have come a long way in recent years, enabling complex robotic limbs with multiple degrees of freedom, but people rely on tactile feedback for fine control of their limbs. Try to imagine picking up something as simple as a glass without being able to feel when your fingers are around it—awkward and difficult. Unfortunately, this is one area where there has been less progress. One group used vibrational feedback to indicate touching, but otherwise most BMI systems rely on sight—until now.

The BMI portion of this new approach is similar to one we reported on a few years ago. The researchers implanted microelectrode wires in the primary motor cortex (also known as M1) of a monkey’s brain. M1 is the region of the brain responsible for movements, so by measuring electrical signals in particular places, the brain interface can effectively directly control robotic limbs.

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Lobster

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So, this means it would technically possible to have virtual movement if they paralyzed the body? Is this how virtual reality would work?
 

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I had a friend of mine that was paralyzed and killed herself. I wish she would not have not done that. If she only knew what kind of advancements they were having she would have never done that. She took part in her share of research but unfortunately it was the early on type.... RIP Kelly.
 

seph ir oth

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Rly sorry to hear that TH! :(

Perhaps they could make really cool exoskeletons, both for those paralyzed and not!
 

The Helper

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I have been keeping up with it. If you have money you can have robot like independence. If you are on the government plan forget about it.

I still think that if they have a group that will do it let them inject stem cells into the spinal cord area that is damaged. Human or whatever just try. I know disabled people will benefit from sacrifices made on a cure and not on some stupid surgery technique that ends up paralyzing them more....
 

xPass

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I have been keeping up with it. If you have money you can have robot like independence. If you are on the government plan forget about it.

I still think that if they have a group that will do it let them inject stem cells into the spinal cord area that is damaged. Human or whatever just try. I know disabled people will benefit from sacrifices made on a cure and not on some stupid surgery technique that ends up paralyzing them more....

QFT

I hope they won't screw up on this one~
 

Dan

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The picture on this article really makes you have to click.
 
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