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With this technique, monkeys can manipulate wheelchairs by mind

Date:2017-8-10 13:55:25

Researchers in the United States before the date in the UK "science" magazine published research report said, they use the brain machine interface technology, successfully make the monkey only by thinking you can control the mechanical wheelchair. The technology promises to benefit people with disabilities in the future. The brain computer interface simply means that the brain of a person or animal is connected to an external device, which reads the brain information and turns it into an instruction to manipulate various machines.
Researchers at the Duke University in the United States have implanted hundreds of hair size tiny fibers into two areas of the monkey's brain responsible for somatic movement and sensation, forming microelectrode arrays. Through this array, an external device can receive the brain waves emitted by neurons.
The researchers first sat the monkey in a wheelchair and watched the monkey drive the wheelchair to a bowl filled with grapes. In the process, they recorded the activity of the monkey's brain waves, and transformed the brain waves into digital commands that could manipulate the mechanical wheelchair by using a computer system.
In the subsequent stage, when the monkey further produces the idea of approaching the bowl, the brain computer interface device can send digital commands according to the brainwave signal to control the movement of the mechanical wheelchair. So the monkeys gradually learn to use their ideas to control the wheelchair and move to the bowl. Moreover, with the increase in frequency, they accomplish this task faster and faster. The researchers also found changes in monkeys' brain waves, and they were able to estimate how far away they were when they completed the task.
The technique is particularly useful for people with disabilities who lose limbs for various reasons.
In the study of Duke University researcher Miguel Nicolelis said, there are some non embedded method can help the disabled to restore some activity, such as in the paste electrode head to transmit and transform brain waves to control a wheelchair or mechanical manipulator arm, but the efficiency is very low. New research shows that implanting electrodes in the brain can make mechanical wheelchairs more efficient.
The researchers plan to use monkeys for more tests to improve the accuracy and reliability of the controls, and to involve people in the trials.

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