Usually we use this as a link dump, but this is probably one of the most important scientific advances of the last ten years, so it gets its own post.
Essentially, we’ve just achieved controlling robots with nothing but our minds.
It’s rudimentary, but it’s full telepresence with nothing but a brain scan and it works. The team that put it together assembled reams of data by scanning a man’s brain with an fMRI, tying changes in blood flow to specific actions. When it finally had enough data for reliable instructions, they hooked it up to a robot and…well…he controlled it with just his mind.
There’s a lot more work to be done here. There’s a delay as the instructions are interpreted and sent, and it’s not clear whether these instructions can be standardized or whether they’ll have to be relearned by the program for each person. The robot itself is small and relatively simple compared to the obvious ultimate ambitions. And the technology across the board will need to be reduced in cost and increased in both complexity and scale.
It’ll happen, though. There’s simply too much at stake, and the implications are just too staggering, for the work not to be done.
But the point is: it happened. We’ve laid the ground work. It works. A major piece of the future just locked into place. This is why we love science: at its best, it makes the dreams of decades come true.
image courtesy Bennett4Senate on Flickr