Providing a Sense of Touch through a Brain-Machine Interface

A DARPA-funded research team has demonstrated for the first time in a human a technology that allows an individual to experience the sensation of touch directly in the brain through a neural interface system connected to a robotic arm. By enabling two-way communication between brain and machine—outgoing signals for movement and inbound signals for sensation—the technology could ultimately support new ways for people to engage with each other and with the world.

The work was supported by DARPA’s Revolutionizing Prosthetics program, and performed by the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Learn more: http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2016-10-13

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Comment (47)

  1. Real human brain! Amazing!

    That's amazing. I hope that they scale it down so that people can use that technology unencumbered and in a way that doesn't put the user at risk of infections and physical damage (to the bone). I welcome a world where the physically, permanently handicapped can give hugs and feed themselves with robot arms or walk/run with robot legs where otherwise they'd just live only in their mind. I'm so glad someone's working on this. It's truly wonderful, good work they're doing.

  2. If this is real they should be able to use a robot body of any style they want to hook up a real human brain in.Does it not seem so all they need is to program sight and hearing should not be to hard to make leg and body control as they did arms and the brain should not be to hard to keep alive. They can create some kinda blood unit that sends blood to brain.If used on a test tube baby it would never no life no other way. the brain would only need to be keep alive.It would also seem simple for them to do just small amount of tech i see they do.Hell they could pass it of as the worlds first real aware robot and we buy the child size then adult size when birthdays pass it would never know.Only think normal this is life.They control every thing are should i say they hide are steal his life before he every knew he had one. Well you get where i am going.This stuff is wild this might be what is really going with all the clone talk on the web i see.I think the rich would go for it and pay what ever they could afford.They would use a remote version of them self at first and be hooked at home like a sim be real when they choose are fake. when older would sign into a fixed contract where only the robot body is kept their brain removed being bottled and cared for in high tech oil are what ever. This is the road of living longer many years for real.But only the rich could do it.Poor can be phased out and only these kinda people and the slaves exist one day.This could be going on now to us and we never know.This got me thinking to far out left field. I have faith with Jesus.This does not mean this want are already exist. Do what they will nothing can stop it from coming.Just People at some point will see when to late and nothing can be done and we transform all ended as slaves but just will take the rich ones longer to start see the process failing no more tech to keep life and see death coming and realize the ones this great power came from never die and they and us have all been toys. Wild thoughts rushing in my head .never have i made a post this long.

  3. Could this be extended to transfer touch, hearing, and vision completely to a properly equipped robotic platform? My hypothesis is that if that can be done, then it may be possible to essentially transfer consciousness temporarily into a robot – although the brain hasn't left the body, it produces output as though it has, because the only input it is getting is external.

  4. Pretty cool. Nothing like getting real tactile feedback from prosthetics to increase their efficiency to something which actually resembles a limb. Now if only you didn't need a valve sticking out of your head. I wonder if it's possible to generate current at any point in a 3D grid? That would be really useful, some type of field interaction I imagine. So that eventually people can wear a hat and deal with the psychological impact of removing that hat or always keeping it on.

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