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Biotech Input Devices Medicine Technology

A Better Thought-Controlled Computer Cursor 34

Posted by timothy
from the you-know-what-you-want-to-do dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Stanford researchers have developed a new algorithm (Abstract only) that significantly improves the control and performance of neural prosthetics — brain-controlled computer interfaces for individuals suffering from spinal cord injury and neurodegenerative disease to aid interaction with computers, drive electronic wheelchairs, and control robotic arms and legs. With this algorithm, monkeys implanted with multielectrode arrays in motor regions of their brain controlled a computer cursor more quickly and accurately than ever before, including navigation around obstacles. Further, the system maintained this high performance across 4 years, demonstrating long-term reliability. These improvements in performance and robustness are crucial for clinically-useful neural prosthetics, and pave the way for success in clinical trails."
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A Better Thought-Controlled Computer Cursor

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  • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by javilon (99157) on Monday November 19, 2012 @08:25AM (#42025777) Homepage

    two monkeys over 4 years.

    Yea I want a larger testing samples and longer time frame for my brain implants.

    I do not want to have to upgrade my implant every 20 years let alone 5

    There is a problem with this. You don't want to wait 20 years if the technology is available now and you really need it (as in quadriplegic). So you will have to settle with two or three years in animal tests and with tissue samples showing no measurable damage to the brain tissue.

    Worst of cases, if you are quadriplegic and using this technology, probably the independence gained with it would be worth one operation every five years.

  • Re:Yes! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheLink (130905) on Monday November 19, 2012 @09:40AM (#42026099) Journal

    We haven't actually come very far.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain%E2%80%93computer_interface#Prominent_research_successes [wikipedia.org]

    If it takes 10-20 years to get this improvement it's not what I call rapid progress.

    In 1947 Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier. 1953 first supersonic fighters (USSR and USA). In 1961 Yuri Gagarin orbited the planet. In 1969 the USA landed people on the moon AND got them back safely. In 1969 we got Concorde and the 747 jumbo jet. That's rapid progress.

    With the current rate of BCI progress most of us will be either dead or too old by the time practical and safe ones hit the market.

    FWIW we don't seem to be making that much progress on the aerospace front either - where are those prototype space stations with artificial gravity?

    Maybe all the geniuses in the current generations are busy making iphone apps or legally swindling people in finance.

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