Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have trained monkeys to manipulate robotic appendages using the power of their minds, once again proving one solid scientific fact: monkeys kick ass.
Just look at that monkey in the picture there. Is that not the coolest monkey ever? He's manipulating a robotic arm with seven-degrees-of-freedom through two motor neuron sensing pads implanted in the hand and arm area of his brain's motor cortex.
Why? Well if he turns that knob, he gets a tasty beverage, that's why.
Oh, you meant why is professor of neurobiology Dr. Andrew Schwartz and his team making the monkey do this, aside from the obvious cool factor?
So we can have robotic arms, of course.
Hooking up the brain directly to machines could one be instrumental in the creation of prosthetics, perhaps even allowing paralyzed people to walk again. I imagine a robotic arm, much the same as the one manipulated by this little monkey here, only with a space to house a human arm inside of it.
But this isn't about my imagination. If it were, we'd be talking about controlling giant mechs with the power of our minds. That, or controlling games with our brains, but that's so 2007.
No, this is about the amazing strides science is taking in harnessing the power of the mind. There is no machine more complicated that the brain, and once we harness that power, anything is possible.
Even killer monkey robots. There, I said it.