U.S. military successfully installs ‘brain modems’ in animals as part of project to develop ‘cyborg soldiers’ who use the cerebral implants to control machines

Sunday, February 28, 2016
By Paul Martin

Darpa has successfully tested a brain modem on an animal subject
The military agency is hoping to develop technology that will allow soldiers to use their minds to control things like drones in war zones
The device will let the brain communicate directly with computers

DAILYMAIL.COM
28 February 2016

The U.S. military has successfully implanted and tested its first ‘brain modem’ on an animal subject.

The tiny, implanted chip, developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), uses a tiny sensor that travels through blood vessels, lodges in the brain and records neural activity.

Neurologists injected tiny sensors into livestocks’ veins and then recorded the electrical impulses that control the animals’ movements for six months.

The sensor, called a ‘stentrode’, a combination of the words ‘stent’ and ‘electrode’, is the first step in the military’s desire to allow soldiers to control machinery with their minds.

Hypothetically, this could allow servicemen to use the ‘brain modem’ to maneuver drones.

The stentrode is the size of a paperclip, flexible and injectable. Instead of invasive brain surgery, it enters the bloodstream via a catheter and then transmits data.

‘DARPA has previously demonstrated direct brain control of a prosthetic limb by paralyzed patients fitted with penetrating electrode arrays implanted in the motor cortex during traditional open-brain surgery,’ said Doug Weber, the program manager for RE-NET.

‘By reducing the need for invasive surgery, the stentrode may pave the way for more practical implementations of those kinds of life-changing applications of brain-machine interfaces.’

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