Pirates and ninja beware: monkeys and robots have joined forces

As reported by the BBC (who, incidentally, have a version of the above video where you can actually see the monkey’s face), a monkey with its arms restrained (to simulate armlessness) and cybernetic implants is able to use its artificial limbs purely by thought. Which is amazing on a lot of different levels. The fact that the the apparatus is so intuitive a monkey can figure it out — even with the steampunk-looking prototype — is amazing.

While the article reports that the monkey had a 61% success rate in feeding itself and my initial inclination was to put an “only” between “monkey” and “had”, I urge anyone skeptical of the amazingness of this advancement of the facts that a) this is a monkey, and b) this is a prototype. With a few years of serious love, the potential impact this technology will have on people with disabilities from limb amputations to, in the hopes of lead researcher Dr. Andrew Schwartz, “people with total paralysis” is mind boggling.

Dr. Schwartz and your team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, buy yourselves a round of drinks and send me the tab.


One Response to “Pirates and ninja beware: monkeys and robots have joined forces”

  1. My dog would have over a 90% success rate. I suspect that she wouldn’t even need the apparatus by Cyberdyne to assist her; I think that dog could get the food to her by pure force of will alone.

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