Motor Cortex Replacements and Spinal Burrowers: Two More Steps To Becoming A Robot

Thanks to our friends at the University of Washington as funded by the Office of Naval Research and thanks to Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) we now have two more technologies available to the robophiles out there longing to replace their wetware with something a bit more sturdy.

The Neurochip developed at UW allows for what is essentially a motor cortex bypass. Signals picked up by the chip can be used to control the voluntary motor control of, say, a robot body. "But how will the evil robots implant this device when they make me one of them?" you may ask. Why, they'll just use a spinal burrower, perfectly suited for crawling its way up the spinal column, planting a chip or two, and maybe severing that pesky connection to your human body on its way out.

From the Technion article:
"As part of the project, we developed a locational sensor that will find the place and depth of the endoscope's penetration into the spinal column and its angle of movement," said Kosha. "We are now thinking about the next-generation endoscope that will swim by itself. It will be a swimming robot with two activators - swimming tails - that will push it."
True, in the mean time we have a great new tool for doctors working in the delicate spinal column, but at what cost?

Thanks to Jerusalem Post and Eureka Alert via Engadget

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