Print 75 comment(s) - last by MrJustin5.. on Jun 19 at 6:07 AM

The fast macaque monkeys quickly learned to grab treats with their new mechanical arm. What was surprising was the advanced natural motions they developed.  (Source: Andrew Schwartz/University of Pittsburgh)
An outlandish experiment is breaking exciting ground in the world of brain controlled prosthetics

While the jury is still out on whether monkeys deserve human rights, one thing's for sure -- they're good at controlling robotic arms.  In the past, humans have been able to control a computer mouse with brain signals.  In more recent DARPA grant research, prosthetic arms have been implanted in humans with basic control from electrodes on skin or electrodes implanted in muscle.  However, without directly interfacing with nerves, preferably near the brain, it is impossible to gain the fluid motion that human limbs have according to the current line of thought.

Researchers at Caltech recently made breakthroughs in repositionable neural probes, which will help such brain connections be made.  Now, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University have taken the next step and for the first time ever have showcased the use of one of these nerve interfaced limbs with a nonhuman primate.

The researchers selected monkeys for the study due to their anatomical similarities to humans and their strong capacity to learn.  In the experiment, two Macaque monkeys were initially allowed to play with a joystick to get the feel for the basic capabilities of their new mechanical arm.  The arm featured shoulder joints, an elbow joint, and a two-fingered grasping claw.

Afterwards, a grid of electrodes the size of freckles were implanted just beneath the monkeys' skulls on their motor cortex.  The grid contained 100 electrodes and was placed on a section of the brain known to signal hand and arm movements.  Each electrode connected to a separate neuron, and the signals ran back out of the brain via wire to computers for processing.

The device collected the firings on the neurons and used it to generate a movement response which was sent to the arm.  The monkeys quickly learned from this biofeedback how to perform basic arm movements.  Within several days the monkey needed no assistance.  Sitting motionless they moved the arm like a normal limb, using it to delicate pick up small objects like grapes, marshmallows, and other chewy nuggets which were held in front of them.  Over two-thirds of the time the goodies found their way to the hungry little monkeys' mouths.

The monkeys learned to approach the morsel with an open "hand", to close the hand, and to slowly release as they bit into it.  They shocked researchers showcasing advanced movements, such as using one finger to pick up a sticky item by poking it, keeping the hand open.  They also would bring their arm by their mouth to lick clean, and would use it push morsels of food dangling from their mouth back in.  Researchers wrote that these were "displays of embodiment that would never be seen in a virtual environment".

Dr. Andrew Schwartz, a professor of neurobiology at the University of Pittsburgh and senior author of the paper on the research states, "In the real world, things don’t work as expected.  The marshmallow sticks to your hand or the food slips, and you can’t program a computer to anticipate all of that.  But the monkeys’ brains adjusted. They were licking the marshmallow off the prosthetic gripper, pushing food into their mouth, as if it were their own hand."

The new paper, released in the online journal Nature, is coauthored by Meel Velliste, Sagi Perel, M. Chance Spalding and Andrew Whitford.  The paper demonstrates that human brain-controlled prosthetics while not affordable in cost or difficulty, are technically feasible, or within reach.

Says expert Dr. William Heetderks, director of the extramural science program at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, "This study really pulls together all the pieces from earlier work and provides a clear demonstration of what’s possible."

Another expert, Dr. John P. Donoghue, director of the Institute of Brain Science at Brown University commented that the paper is "important because it’s the most comprehensive study showing how an animal interacts with complex objects, using only brain activity."

One major problem that remains is that brain electrode grids currently fail within months for unknown reasons.  Furthermore, the system is cumbersome and needs calibration.  Also, so far a safe wireless interface has not been demonstrated, necessitating wires through the scalp.  However the researchers are striving ahead, looking for solution to each of these problems.

Dr. John F. Kalaska, a neuroscientist at the University of Montreal in an accompanying article in the Nature journal says that once the bugs have been resolved, researchers may be able to find other areas of the brain to give the limbs even more delicate response.  Kalaska says such possible future systems, "would allow patients with severe motor deficits to interact and communicate with the world not only by the moment-to-moment control of the motion of robotic devices, but also in a more natural and intuitive manner that reflects their overall goals, needs and preferences."

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled had to be said.
By akugami on 5/29/2008 2:41:58 PM , Rating: 5
I for one welcome our cyborg monkey overlords.

RE: had to be said.
By Misty Dingos on 5/29/2008 2:52:33 PM , Rating: 5
Hey it is either the CMO (Cyborg Monkey Overlords) or the computer just starts using us for batteries.

So let's hear it for the CMO! And yes Master I want to work on a bananna plantation!

RE: had to be said.
By KristopherKubicki on 5/29/2008 3:10:44 PM , Rating: 5
I'm pretty sure machines will use us for spare computing power before they use is as batteries. Think Folding@Home, where Folding is human brainpower, and @Home is @Machine-run-megacorporation

RE: had to be said.
By shaw on 5/29/2008 3:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
Oh great, soon we'll have Cyber Ninja Curious George from Zanzibar Land.

RE: had to be said.
By amanojaku on 5/29/2008 4:11:26 PM , Rating: 4
Don't worry. All we have to do to break "Skynet" or "Monkeynet" is insert Jack Thompson's brain. If it exists.

RE: had to be said.
By DeltaZero on 5/29/2008 4:36:31 PM , Rating: 2
Amazon's Mechanical Turks apparently were just the first step.

RE: had to be said.
By SilthDraeth on 5/29/2008 6:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't the first time. Duke did this back in the 2003 time frame.

Sorry Jason you didn't research your article for accuracy.

RE: had to be said.
By SilthDraeth on 5/30/2008 2:05:27 AM , Rating: 2
Wow. Voted to a negative one by pointing out that this experiment has been done before by Duke.

I guess if one college makes a discovery and posts it in a peer reviewed journal it is meaningless. But if another college 5 years later makes the same discovery, and Daily Tech covers it then it is "The first breakthrough of it's kind"

RE: had to be said.
By paydirt on 5/30/08, Rating: 0
RE: had to be said.
By SilthDraeth on 5/30/2008 10:14:19 AM , Rating: 3
No I was not attempting to be a dick. No I do not expect them to know everything.

But using Google, a simple search of "monkey controls robot arm" brings up the other story instantly, and disproves the following quote: (Pay special attention to "first time ever".

I would expect one would do at least as much research as a someone in high school is required to do when writing a report on a subject. First and foremost to attempt to validate the accuracy of the information being reported.

"Now, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University have taken the next step and for the first time ever have showcased the use of one of these nerve interfaced limbs with a nonhuman primate."

RE: had to be said.
By bobdeer1965 on 5/30/08, Rating: -1
RE: had to be said.
By spluurfg on 5/30/2008 2:45:36 AM , Rating: 2
It's a reference to the film, 'The Matrix'... sorry to ruin the plot if you ever decide to see it, but in the film robots take over Earth and use millions of humans as power plants: food in = heat out = electricity.

I wonder if we could get these monkeys to get really good at those plush-toy-crane machines...

RE: had to be said.
By kenji4life on 5/30/2008 4:38:09 AM , Rating: 2
Before berating people for a simple typo, try to use your own brain. The "i" key is next to the "u" key on the keyboard. But whatever, for your benefit, he meant to say "use us as batteries".

RE: had to be said.
By jcherrybon on 5/30/2008 9:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
Hey Bobdeer.... you might want to check your own post before attacking others. Or should I say "Look at you post below". Yes, look at you post. Well said.

RE: had to be said.
By kenji4life on 5/31/2008 11:10:12 AM , Rating: 2
While we're nitpicking Bob, he didn't capitalize his first W, and his punctuation for a question is incorrect (generally we punctuate a question with a ? (called a question mark), not a .).

RE: had to be said.
By bobdeer1965 on 5/30/08, Rating: -1
RE: had to be said.
By kenji4life on 5/30/2008 4:40:41 AM , Rating: 5
Now you're just being an @sshole.

RE: had to be said.
By jcherrybon on 5/30/2008 9:30:24 PM , Rating: 1
Yes Bobdeer, you post sure sounded like a caveman typed it. Good luck with you future typing endeavors. b

RE: had to be said.
By FITCamaro on 5/29/2008 3:54:28 PM , Rating: 2
My evil army of robot pirate ninja monkeys is one step closer to completion.

RE: had to be said.
By Misty Dingos on 5/29/2008 4:19:29 PM , Rating: 2
Do you need a comic side kick? I can do that. Considering the other jobs at the offering.

1. Working in a plantation for the Cyborg Monkey Overlords.
2. Working for the computer as an ancillary computing module. Or.
3. Working for the computer as a battery.

So working for a megalomaniac human with a bunch of ningas seems like a step up.

RE: had to be said.
By FITCamaro on 5/29/2008 4:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
If you amuse me you might be spared. But damn it if you bring me a cupcake with a sprinkle on it, I will kill you.

RE: had to be said.
By V3ctorPT on 5/29/2008 4:30:20 PM , Rating: 4
Monkeycop... criminals, be afraid...

RE: had to be said.
By jahinoz on 5/30/2008 1:45:49 AM , Rating: 2

Sadly, aforementioned crime fighting robot monkeys exist in a show literally with said name.

RE: had to be said.
By FaceMaster on 5/29/08, Rating: -1
RE: had to be said.
By bodar on 5/29/2008 5:12:28 PM , Rating: 3
So is this sarcasm or did you eat too much of the "candy" that peeled off the windowsill in your bedroom as a kid?

RE: had to be said.
By FaceMaster on 6/6/08, Rating: 0
RE: had to be said.
By V3ctorPT on 5/29/2008 7:14:42 PM , Rating: 5
I'm just sad for the monkey... what if he has an itch in his crotch? :| (the horror)...

RE: had to be said.
By fonzdaman on 5/30/2008 12:49:13 AM , Rating: 2
This is rather useful news. Soon as the mechanical arms hit people's living rooms i want a programmed monkey to drop seedless grapes in my mouth while watching Criminal Minds or some other funkey show :D

RE: had to be said.
By Mojo the Monkey on 5/30/2008 1:43:27 AM , Rating: 5
I for one welcome our cyborg monkey overlords.

Ladies and gentlemen, uh, we've just lost the picture, but what we've seen speaks for itself. The lab has apparently been taken over - 'conquered,' if you will - by a master race of monkeys with robot arms. It's difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume the captive Earthmen or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; the monkeys will soon be here. And I, for one, welcome our new cyborg monkey overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their tropical banana plantations.

RE: had to be said.
By Donkeyshins on 5/30/2008 3:51:35 PM , Rating: 2
No bananas for you, Mr. Brockman.

RE: had to be said.
By stephenfs on 5/30/2008 10:22:15 AM , Rating: 3
It sounds like every human who needs a prosthetic limb should also have a monkey on their back to help control it.

Third arm?
By EODetroit on 5/29/2008 3:05:02 PM , Rating: 2
So could someone learn to control a third mechanical arm naturally in addition to their two natural ones... or would that take too much concentration?

RE: Third arm?
By Brandon Hill on 5/29/2008 3:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't you have to have the brain "pathways" to control a third arm first?

Otherwise, it's be like turning a pedaling on a bike without the chain attached to the rear wheels...

That's my reasoning, and I'm sticking to it ;)

RE: Third arm?
By AlvinCool on 5/29/2008 3:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, you might not have to have a different set of pathways for the third arm. The monkeys are not moving their original set of arms (lets hope the researchers didn't lop them off with cleavers). This gives rise to the thought that they know that simply thinking of moving the arm makes the mechanical arm move. So if they can do that it may be possible for you to move the real arm without thinking of the mechanical one. So the question is, can I use the set of pathways to move one or the other, but not both at once.

RE: Third arm?
By elpresidente2075 on 5/29/2008 4:10:53 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is, the brain does not work in the linear fashion that you seem to think it does. Since it is a self-healing, highly adaptive network, one could learn to use any number of any sort of peripherals, from arms to keyboards (sans keys) to PBX switches, much as you are able to learn to play golf or play cards.

Now, while my last example is a bit out there, the realm of potential for brain-machine interfacing is much greater than mere artificial limbs.

And yes, this research does open the door to the kind of hardware found in The Matrix, in much the same way the discovery (invention?) of the wheel opened the door to the Space Shuttle.

RE: Third arm?
By Baov on 5/29/2008 4:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'd think of it as software emulation of the hardware pathway for the third arm. Higher brain functions can imagine all kinds of crap, just like you can control control another person's movement by telling them, in words, to move left or right or stop. Not the most efficient way of doing it of course, just like it's more efficient for a GPU to decode your bluray movie vs CPU.

RE: Third arm?
By DeltaZero on 5/29/2008 4:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
I believe we are only talking about motion neurons here. Higher brain functions like "imagining" are much more complex.
For one thing, how can you learn to control an ability that you did not know were there? Not in two days you can't.

RE: Third arm?
By apollo7 on 5/30/2008 12:32:44 AM , Rating: 2
quote: is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

RE: Third arm?
By bobdeer1965 on 5/30/2008 2:36:48 AM , Rating: 1
What does "turning a pedaling" mean.

Look at your post below.

Wouldn't you have to have the brain "pathways" to control a third arm first?

Otherwise, it's be like turning a pedaling on a bike without the chain attached to the rear wheels...

That's my reasoning, and I'm sticking to it ;)

RE: Third arm?
By aBott on 5/30/2008 4:26:46 PM , Rating: 2
What is wrong with you?

RE: Third arm?
By Visual on 5/30/2008 5:42:00 AM , Rating: 2
In an earlier set of experiments, a monkey has been trained to control a cursor on the screen, and a robotic arm in a different room. This was initially done by monitoring its brain activity while it was using a joystick to move the cursor and eventually re-programming the computer to react to the brain activity instead of the joystick. For a while the monkey continued using the joystick even while it was actually controlling the cursor directly with its brain, but soon it learned that it doesn't need the joystick and was eventually able to control the cursor completely independently from its hand.

What I'm trying to say is, there are no hard-coded "pathways" in the brain. They can change and adapt and new ones can be created - that is called brain plasticity.
So it is completely likely that people might be able to learn to control a third or fourth arm, a tail, wings, wheelchairs, lights at home, TV channels and USB printers ;) OK maybe not the last one... there sure is a limit to this adaptability, but who knows where it is? Maybe we can even control a whole second body? Or a small army of them...

RE: Third arm?
By geddarkstorm on 5/30/2008 1:52:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, right on. The brain has the ability to change shape even in response to the simple thoughts and day dreams we entertain throughout the day. It is truly an incredible organ with potential limited mostly by only our imagination. As long as the interface works well enough, it wouldn't be too hard to learn to use a third, robotic arm, or four of them like Doc Oct.

Are these animal tests necessary AND fruitful?
By MrJustin5 on 5/29/2008 7:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, for once, a real question and discussion, not immature "cyber monkey overlords". Come on, guys. This is my first comment on here, so here we go.

It really pains me to see animals rigged up with surgically implanted things in their heads and dismembered bodies, chopped up brains in Cats, mice, monkeys, etc. And for what? Cutting out a cats brain until there is little more than 10% left - just to prove that memory storage is holographic in nature in the brain. And the cat can still find its dish.

I saw someone comment on "poor monkey" : "Would YOU rather be the one experimented on?" What kind of a comment is that? Does that mean that these sorts of experiments are 100% necessary? 100% required? 100% beneficial? I doubt much of anything (for REAL public use anyway) is actually learned in such experiments. Yes, a little SHRED of a mystery about the brain is put to rest.. but.. come on... these poor lab animals are either designed to SAVE companies MILLIONS or MAKE MILLIONS (or billions).

Also, if it were a HUMAN being tested on... at least the person could say: "Hey! I am in PAIN! More drugs, please?! PLEASE?!" And if this monkey is in pain? What does he do? Shake? What if he has a constant headache? Like a Migrane all the time from such experiments? FACTS ARE: Animals like this who have been turned into a cybernetic frankenstien RARELY live long at all. Gee... I wonder why.

Now, I am sure.. for bringing up a valid and assertive comment and discussion... there is going to be a lot of flak at me for even DISCUSSING such things! HOW DARE I?!!! Why dont I go back to HUGGING TREE's and "saving the planet" - yeah, sure... whatever guys. I am sorry that I have a heart and have feelings (ALTHOUGH - I am not suggesting YOU dont - but why dont you listen to those gut feelings once in awhile?).

Just look up animal experiments and see these creatures with the TOPS OF THEIR SKULLS MISSING - replaced with a clear plastic dome... constantly wired up into electronics and being strapped into a cage or chair, unable to pull it out of your head. ASK YOURSELF: Does this look right? DOES IT FEEL RIGHT? Will any of my relatives coming back DISMEMBERED FROM IRAQ actually benefit from this research in their lifetime? If they COULD - can we even afford such "wonderful advancements?" Wouldn't it be great if WARS and such could be avoided altogether to make RESEARCH INTO DISMEMBERMENT such a low demand that it is absolutely unprofitable?

Now I shall end my long comment on a quote:

"Cowardice asks, is it safe? Expediency asks, is it politic? Vanity asks, is it popular? But conscience asks, is it right? There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him, it is right." - Dr. Martin Luther King

By Misty Dingos on 5/29/2008 7:55:14 PM , Rating: 2
If it helps cure a disease, if it someday helps the invalid walk, if it someday helps the mute speak or the deaf hear. I would kill a jungle of monkeys, a truck load of kittens and all the chimps necessary to make it happen. There is no moral equivalence between animals and man.

One more thing.

Black is negative.
Red is positive.
Turn the juice on.

By MrJustin5 on 5/29/2008 11:14:34 PM , Rating: 1
You've got to be joking right? If not, in the words of Alex Jones: "oh dear god, Heaven help us..." Nice mentality and sense of humor you've got there, Son Of Sam. America's finest!

RE: Are these animal tests necessary AND fruitful?
By Ringold on 5/30/2008 6:02:07 AM , Rating: 2
MrJustin5, unfortunately, you're going to have to accept that some people (myself included) think of lesser lifeforms as expendable, things that exist, just like iron ore, to be used to our benefit if so be it. Whats a lesser life form? Those that can't beat me at chess, Counterstrike, nor discuss the merits of the unique pseudo-libertarian vision put forth in Heinlein's Starship Troopers. IMHO, humans > all other life, and therefore all other life can be tinkered with to serve us. Just like abortion, it's a matter of opinion, and it does no good to think less of people with the opposite opinion of your own, and does little good to argue the point.

That said, I'm almost certain that some animal testing will always have to be done. We can't simulate things we don't understand, no matter how much money we throw at something. I also picked up on the typical anti-corporate attack, but I'll point out it was universities doing this. DailyKos is the anti-capitalist site. :)

By pxavierperez on 5/30/2008 8:09:06 AM , Rating: 2
Well, we can take this even further MrJustin5.

The meat that you had from last supper, that was from a herd of living mammals bred for the sole purpose to be chopped in pieces and barbecued.

Ah but you are a vegetarian? Well, how do you think that carrot felt when it was plucked off the ground to be stewed? Not too happy I assumed.

By Donkeyshins on 5/30/2008 3:57:55 PM , Rating: 2
What if it willingly gave itself up to be eaten? A specially-bread superrace of altruistic vegetables?

That is, until they turn evil...

RE: Are these animal tests necessary AND fruitful?
By DASQ on 6/3/2008 4:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
And what of the Earth? Those terrible humans, pulling at it's limbs and hairs for sustenance. Think of Mother Nature!

MrJustin5, you being alive IS killing something, one way or the other. Time to sober up and realize you're just like us dirty pigs feeding from the same trough.

By MrJustin5 on 6/19/2008 6:07:35 AM , Rating: 2

Wow! I cannot believe about the incredible amount of assumption of bull stuffed in my mouth about I shouldn't EAT MEAT beucase I'm against animal testing and on and on.

Then they stuff more words in my mouth about things I didnt say - by immature little children who talk about Counter Strike and Starship troopers.

Yes, exploit the world, nature, etc... do as much harm as you can, then try to rectify it through animal experimentation because ALL ANIMALS, ALL PLANTS... the ENTIRE EARTH is here just to be butchered and chopped up just to "SERVE US" as one commentor put it.

I guess I am not welcome here. I suppose Depleted Uranium in Iraq and Afghan. is a good thing, too, huh?

I NOT saying we should never harm the hair on an animals head. If you READ MY message and not tack on little nerdy insults to someone ELSES comments you will see that I am questioning the benefits of such animal research .

Its perfectly acceptable to KILL something ELSE so you CAN SURVIVE.

Its another thing entirely to cause great harm and pain to an animal for something that will probably not benefit most people.

I mean, this is just out of control. I said only a FEW THINGS about animal testing and nothing else of the sort on all this other nonsense people are shoving into my mouth.

You guys need to go to College, stop drinking beer, smoking Marijuana, playing games, get a real life and do some serious reading!

By MozeeToby on 5/30/2008 1:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
why dont you listen to those gut feelings once in awhile?
Ok, I will.

My gut feelings tell me that my grandmother, mother, and aunt would almost assuredly have died of cancer years ago if not for animal experimentation.

There are problems that occur with animal research; I don't deny that many, many horrible things have been done and that a few horrible things continue to be done in the name of science. However, this research is not one of them.

This research has also been performed on human beings (with a computer pointer being moved instead of an arm) with no adverse effects. The only new information being described in the article is the "natural" movements of the arm, not the electrodes or the brain-computer interface.

Stop, take a deap breath and think about what you are saying to people before you get angry. Many, many lives have been saved thanks to animal research, almost assuredly including close personal friends and relatives of yours.

Someday (if it hasn't happened already), you will need a treatment that was developed on animals to save your life or cure a disease; will you turn down the treatment in protest? For that matter, do you read all your shampoo bottles, household cleansers, and acne medication to ensure that it wasn't tested on animals?

By MrJustin5 on 6/19/2008 5:59:07 AM , Rating: 2

Ok, MozeeToby!

Lets say it DOES save some lives and that your Mother, Grandmother and aunt were all saved my miracle cancer curing drugs. Question: Did ALL of those relatives get cancer? Was the cancer eliminated? Did you know you are 6 times more likely to DIE from cancer CAUSED by Chemotherapy than the cancer it "cured"? Yes, look it up.

Lets take a look at the 1930's. 1 out of 33 people died of CANCER.

Lets look at today. 1 out of 3 people DIE of cancer. Soon it will be 1 out of 2.

It is due to all the chemicals in electronic equipment, the bottled water you drink, the air you breath, the car you own, the petro-chemical industry. To microwavable food you just ate sitting in carcinogenic microwavable plastic tray you ate out of. Its from the THOUSANDS of nuclear tests done since the 1940's. Its from the Nuke Power Plants. Its from Electromagnetic radiation, cell phone towers, cell phones themselves (YES the studies are out there! HUNDREDS of studies - your little cell phone causes brain cancer in the exact area you had it pressed against your head).

So why dont we ELIMINATE the causes of cancer FIRST and then try to cure what is left over. By that point, the war on cancer is over because it has been virtually defeated through PREVENTION.

You see, its an endless struggle with literally NO END to FIGHT a disease or condition once it has occurred. It is all about PREVENTION. Its common sense.

Facts are.. if diseases and cancers are PREVENTED from occurring... these mega-huge pharmaceutical drug cartels wont have any drugs to push and wont have much money to make.

I rest my case vs MozeeToby.

By Doken on 5/31/2008 7:59:13 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that some animal testing goes beyond what is necessary, but I don't think this particular case does. If you look at the pictures, it's clear that the monkey still has both arms attached but restrained.

I'm sure that the probes and wires were removed as well.

I look forward to the day when animal testing is no longer necessary for scientific and medical advancement, but that day is a long way off.

Yeah but can they....
By Smartless on 5/29/2008 2:56:24 PM , Rating: 4
still fling poo?

RE: Yeah but can they....
By judasmachine on 5/29/2008 3:06:34 PM , Rating: 2
You wait and see what the cyborg monkey overlords fling when you stop picking their bananas.

RE: Yeah but can they....
By fk49 on 5/29/2008 4:02:43 PM , Rating: 2
play doom?

RE: Yeah but can they....
By Kefner on 5/30/2008 1:08:14 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure, but I'm sure it masturbates like crazy!

Doc Oc
By just4U on 5/29/2008 2:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
That's kind of cool, sort of like the doc oc approach (with less limbs!) On a side note about monkeys and special status.. I think they should be afforded certain protection for sure. In testing, and in say .. food. Never liked the idea of people eating monkeys.. (brains ect) But the whole idea of giving them the same rights as humans seems a little off to me.

RE: Doc Oc
By FITCamaro on 5/29/2008 3:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
They're the same as a cow, dog, etc. If we wanna do tests on them, we should be able to. If we wanna eat them, we should be able to. There are still places in the world where cannibalism happens. Monkeys get no special protections other than we shouldn't intentionally torture them. Same as any other animal.

RE: Doc Oc
By jvillaro on 5/29/2008 5:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
Ohhh and when we're invaded by those aliens that will enslave, eat and experiment on us??? We will be like monkeys, cows and dogs to them. Then what will you saaaaay?

Maybe supercybermonkeys will save us if we treat them nice!

RE: Doc Oc
By PhoenixKnight on 5/31/2008 2:30:38 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, we need to create a massive army of super cyborg monkeys in order to save us from the aliens.

It couldn't hurt, unless the monkeys started hurting people, which they almost certainly would...

That old saying
By AlvinCool on 5/29/2008 3:39:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think the old saying "Monkey see monkey do" takes on a new meaning.

RE: That old saying
By Macelind on 5/29/2008 4:03:10 PM , Rating: 3
What about "monkey pee all over you"?

Seriously, this is really cool. This kind of research will be useful to people like my friend who is stuck in a wheel chair. Exoskeleton suits and the like would be useful for able bodied people as well. The possibilities are exciting.

Poor Monkey
By gersson on 5/29/08, Rating: 0
RE: Poor Monkey
By FITCamaro on 5/29/2008 3:57:18 PM , Rating: 5
We can cut open your head and poke around in your brain.

I read about this same experiment years ago.
By SilthDraeth on 5/29/2008 5:50:51 PM , Rating: 2
I will have to see if I can find a link to it. But I read about this exact same experiment years ago. Only at that time, the monkey was moving an arm that was in another room behind glass and dropping a treat in a drop box that the monkey could then grab. After recording the monkey moving the arm, they simply took away the joystick but left the apparatus that read. And the monkey thought about using the joystick to get the treat, and was able to do so by thinking about the process.

By SilthDraeth on 5/29/2008 5:54:06 PM , Rating: 2
Here is the link and a copy and paste of the article:

"By Alex Dominguez

10:26 p.m. October 13, 2003

Monkeys with brain implants were trained to move a robot arm with their thoughts, a key advance by researchers who hope one day to allow paralyzed people to perform similar tasks.

A series of electrodes containing tiny wires were implanted about a millimeter deep into the brains of two monkeys. A computer then recorded signals produced by the monkeys' brains as they manipulated a joystick controlling the robotic arm in exchange for a reward – sips of juice.

The joystick was later unplugged and the arm, which was in a separate room, was controlled directly by the brain signals coming from the implants. The monkeys eventually stopped using the joystick, as if they knew their brains were controlling the robot arm, Duke University researcher Miguel Nicolelis said.

"Three of us were in the room watching the monkey late at night, and all of sudden the monkey just dropped the joystick and started playing the game ... the monkey just got it that she didn't need to move the joystick," Nicolelis said.

"We couldn't believe it, it was almost like the monkey was telling us, 'Believe me, I can do it.' ... She was very happy; she was very enthused about the fact she could do it." The second monkey also stopped using the joystick.

The work was reported Monday in the first edition of the journal PLoS Biology, a free, peer-reviewed scientific journal published online by the Public Library of Science.

The Duke researchers had previously wired the brains of monkeys to allow a robotic arm to mimic motions made by the monkeys when using a joystick or reaching for food.

Humans have already been implanted with a similar device that allows them to control the movement of a cursor on a computer screen through their thoughts. The implant used in the monkey work, however, is smaller and the task accomplished was more complex.

The Duke researchers have now moved onto researching similar implants in humans, and Nicolelis said he is more optimistic about the prospects for use in humans.

"It could do a lot of things, wheelchairs, computers, prosthetic arms, perhaps their own arms," Nicolelis said.

Appliances, remote objects in other locations in the house and robots all could be controlled, he said.

"It really opens the possibilities, and it reduces the amount of time. Previously, I had thought it might be five to 10 years before we could apply this to humans. I'm getting more optimistic now, I think in a couple of years we may be doing the real clinical trials."

The implants remained in the Duke monkeys for 2½ years showing they can be used for extended period. Over time, the monkeys' brains adapted to treat the robotic arm as if it was their own limb, Nicolelis said. "

By Visual on 5/30/2008 5:20:54 AM , Rating: 2
This is as old as the world now... was posted in the end of 2006. I think this article is about the same experiment:

The "new letter" that you linked is itself timestamped from the end of 2007, but the "accompanying article" is from 2004... Not that any of those links were any use to me though, as accessing the full text requires a subscription.

By Visual on 5/30/2008 10:53:20 AM , Rating: 2
And here is a report for the same experiments back from early 2005:

Next summer's bockbuster
By the goat on 5/30/2008 7:56:08 AM , Rating: 3
I can see next summer's biggest movie: The Terminator vs. the Planet of the Apes directed by Michael Bay.

P.S. I know monkeys are not apes , don't rate me down.

Legal Notice
By FITCamaro on 5/29/2008 3:53:15 PM , Rating: 2
No monkeys were harmed during the course of this us. Several tried to scratch their ass with the arm and ended up punching through their skull with it. We regret these loses but attribute them to the cost of medical science.

give people a chance...
By Screwballl on 5/29/2008 4:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
to not be crippled anymore...

Imagine using this to allow paraplegics or quadriplegics the capability to use synthetic/robotic arms and legs to get all 4 limbs back to a useful state.... or replacement synthetic fingers, hands, whatever happens to get taken off or stopped working in an accident... or rewire existing non-working limbs back into usefulness.
This is the type of research that I agree with as it has real world implications at helping people in a very real way.

By jasona111 on 5/29/2008 5:17:37 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I can finally get that prehensile tail I've been wanting all these years!!!!

By bobdeer1965 on 5/30/2008 2:34:09 AM , Rating: 2
So many spelling and grammar errors on this site.

Do the writers even have to have a High School Diploma???

Unintended Consequences
By kyleb2112 on 6/2/2008 12:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
Monkeys that can spank us?

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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