DARPA Funds Brain-Computer Interface for Robotic Arms

By Wesley Fenlon

This monkey can control a robotic arm with its brain. Jealous?

What if you could control an Iron Man exoskeleton with nothing but the power of your mind? Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and the University of Pittsburgh are working on it. They just received $6 million for the next three years from DARPA to continue developing electrode implants that detect brain activity and relay impulses to a mechanical arm.

The researchers plan to begin testing two electrodes later this year to see if they can replicate the same success in human test subjects. They also plan to step things up and test more complex movements. Doc Ock, here we come.