I, for one, welcome our cyborg monkey masters

Monkeys Control Robotic Arm With Brain Implants:

Scientists in North Carolina have built a brain implant that lets monkeys control a robotic arm with their thoughts. [...] The new work is the first in which any animal has learned to use its brain to move a robotic device in all directions in space and to perform a mixture of interrelated movements -- such as reaching toward an object, grasping it and adjusting the grip strength depending on how heavy the object is. [...]

After removing patches of skull from two monkeys to expose the outer surface of their brains, Nicolelis and his colleagues stuck 96 of those tiny wires about a millimeter deep in one monkey's brain and 320 of them in the other animal's brain. The surgeries ended with the pouring of a substance like dental cement over the area to substitute for the missing bits of skull.

The monkeys were unaffected by the surgery, Nicolelis said. But now they had tufts of wires protruding from their heads, which could be hooked up to other wires that ran through a computer and on to a large mechanical arm.


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22 Responses:

  1. stimps says:

    I don't think so. I'm not a PETA fiend, but I don't think that just because you don't *think* something minds having wires sticking out of its head, that you should do it. Much like lobotomies. Oh well.

  2. jdredd5150 says:

    this is about as close as we'll come to pics for this anytime soon, i think.

  3. ralesk says:

    Heh, slow today.  Already discussed this with a bit of plagiarism on a friends journal :P

    Anyway, here's the other source, with not much more photos and figures, but it's different at least: http://www.msnbc.com/news/979596.asp?cp1=1

  4. insomnia says:

    You're overlooking all the good things that robotic monkeys can do...

  5. harryh says:

    May or may not be one the referenced monkeys: http://www.freetheanimals.homestead.com/files/electrodeskull.jpg

    And separately, google for "I, for one, welcome".

  6. bitwise says:

    Next week they will quietly take control of the computers, to eventually escape as digital consciousnesses, with unimaginable power. We're about to witness the rise of the Cyborg Monkey Empire.

  7. cirollo says:

    There's a great drawing of the monkey restraining device in the actual paper:

  8. jwz says:

    Is it just me, or does "Monkey's brain signals control 'third arm'" sound really dirty?

    "The monkey came into the room wearing only a robotic third arm and a smile."

  9. acpizza says:


    But now they had tufts of wires protruding from their heads

    In this day and age, couldn't they have at least given the poor things BlueTooth?