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.
[[AND WHY ARE THERE NO PICTURES OF THIS?]]