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Castrol GTX
28th Jun 2008, 23:22
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iys5wvQD72Y

Here's a video I know you guys will enjoy, if you haven't seen or heard of it yet. A few scientists built a robotic arm and wired it directly into the motor cortex of a monkeys brain, who then learned how to control it and use it to feed itself.

Lady_Of_The_Vine
29th Jun 2008, 00:08
Mmmm, I don't like to watch such things myself as I always feel for any animal in this situation. :(

That aside, I expect the experiment is another one of those designed to facilitate either future space travel to outer planets in our solar system, or similar environments that are not particularly 'human-friendly'. I know they say it is for artificial limb control in humans... but I doubt it stops there.

Castrol GTX
29th Jun 2008, 03:13
What do you mean? I don't see how this could be used for harsh environments or anything like that.

I figured you'd immediately take to Gunther and mech augmentation. Actually, that's exactly what this is, the only difference is that limbs haven't been replaced.

There's another video, which I can't find anymore, about a guy who invented a robotic suit with hydraulics that multiplied his strength several times. It showed him benching 500+ pounds several times until he got bored and set them down. A computer in the limbs would read his movements and trigger that hydraulics. It seems like combining the two on a smaller scale would create a real life Gunther Hermann.

Lady_Of_The_Vine
29th Jun 2008, 08:48
What do you mean? I don't see how this could be used for harsh environments or anything like that.
Sorry I didn't explain myself very well. :)
I was thinking where it might end - as far as space travel is concerned. I doubt it will be pioneered solely by humans in the early stages (next thousand or so years)... our bodies couldn't cope with the length of time in space to actually "get somewhere"... by the time we get there, our physiology will be under great strain/deterioration (short distance) or we would have met our natural death (long distance). :D

So, I gather that we will use robotic-trained animals to explore near space, yeah. After that, if we want to go a lot further, we will use robots with a monkey's brain (for example) - or anything that won't "die" (ie. all robot with advanced computer-mapped thought and dexterity). In the early stages, a monkey's brain may be used to control the robot parts and also, obviously, to 'think' about whatever it has been trained to do. That can mean operating the space ship, conducting experiments in space, walking on alien terrain, mapping etc.

So, generally, that was what I was trying to say... this experiment is just the beginning of what will be an ultimate end use.

minus0ne
29th Jun 2008, 16:58
LMAO, leave it up to Discovery Channel to utterly butcher a topic :rolleyes:

Horizon's got a whole episode about this and the interaction/merging between man and machine, including the experiment of which this one is a weak copy.

Lady_Of_The_Vine
29th Jun 2008, 17:03
Yeah, got to admit that the experiment seemed very 'out-of-date'. :D

When is the Horizon episode airing? :)

Castrol GTX
30th Jun 2008, 16:54
I read about this in the newspaper one day then looked it up on youtube. Its the only one I know about. What's different about the one they're making a show about?

@MissDenton-- I see what you're saying now. It seems like the brain would still degenerate over time, but how much time you gain might be long enough. Also seems like it would be hard to train a monkey brain to do anything extremely useful anyway.

Lady_Of_The_Vine
30th Jun 2008, 18:32
I read about this in the newspaper one day then looked it up on youtube. Its the only one I know about. What's different about the one they're making a show about?
@MissDenton-- I see what you're saying now. It seems like the brain would still degenerate over time, but how much time you gain might be long enough. Also seems like it would be hard to train a monkey brain to do anything extremely useful anyway.

What's different is the complexity they have reached now - the experiment in your link was probably done quite a while ago. It would have at one time been quite ground-breaking, complex and amazing, but it has since been surpassed. If you search YouTube or Google you should find some more information and videos of recent experiments on a similar line. I don't really go looking myself because I get a bit upset for the monkeys. :o

Also, there are experiments now where they have already mapped the brain as it performs different tasks. In other words, scientists have already collected the process data of a brain (human and monkey) in action... now they just wish to (or already have?) transfer that data to computers and create a program to get a robot to do it 'naturally' (if thats the right word, hehe). :)

Yes, in space, the brain would degenerate over time (but would live longer than other vital organs of your body, eg. heart). But I expect by the time we are actually out there exploring further afield, we would have found something to prevent the brain from degenerating quite so quickly. We would have to find a way to do this anyway. But deeper space will, without doubt, be pioneered by robots/cyborgs (hence all these experiments)... the notion of a large community of human-beings living cosily together on a space ship (eg. as in Star Trek) will come a LONG time after the robots have took the first steps.
Yeah, lol, well space is SO HUGE, I expect the time we have will NEVER be long enough unless we can utilise those adorable lil' wormholes successfully and travel vast distances in mere seconds. :D