Monkey Controls Walking Robot: Gundam and Firefox (movie/game) are real…

roomba_monkey.jpg

NY Times: Monkey’s Thoughts Propel Robot, a Step That May Help Humans


Article about Idoya, a monkey, controlling a robot named CB, Computational Brain. Get this: the monkey was in a lab in North Carolina, the robot in Japan, remotely controlled over a high speed internet connection:

“The video and brain cell activity were then combined and translated into a format that a computer could read. This format is able to predict with 90 percent accuracy all permutations of Idoya’s leg movements three to four seconds before the movement takes place.”

“As Idoya’s brain signals streamed into CB’s actuators, her job was to make the robot walk steadily via her own brain activity. She could see the back of CB’s legs on an enormous movie screen in front of her treadmill and received treats if she could make the robot’s joints move in synchrony with her own leg movements.”

“As Idoya walked, CB walked at exactly the same pace. Recordings from Idoya’s brain revealed that her neurons fired each time she took a step and each time the robot took a step.”

“In the near future, Idoya and other bipedal monkeys will be getting more feedback from CB in the form of microstimulation to neurons that specialize in the sense of touch related to the legs and feet. When CB’s feet touch the ground, sensors will detect pressure and calculate balance. When that information goes directly into the monkeys’ brains, Dr. Nicolelis said, they will have the strong impression that they can feel CB’s feet hitting the ground.”

“Dr. Nicolelis and his colleague, Dr. Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira, a neurosurgeon at the Sirio-Lebanese Hospital in São Paulo, Brazil, plan to demonstrate by the end of the year that humans can operate an exoskeleton with their thoughts.”

So, in the near future, wars will be fought by monkeys in a lab remotely controlling giant robot war machines…NICE!!! Let’s hope they don’t get any ideas…what about that rat controlling the boy cook by pulling his hair while hiding under his cook’s hat?

Photo by PT

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