Finally , let’s take a look at the current state of Elon Musk’s Neuralink project, after the kindness of a live demo on Friday. The demo showcased a new look for the device, a look at the robot that will install it into a person’s brain and a fearful pig from the scene.
What is Neuralink? What are you doing?
As Musk explained, many of the neurological problems that people face, such as memory loss, depression, blindness, and seizures, to name a few, are the result of electrical signals from the brain that have been incorrectly fired. Neuralink is an implant that interacts directly with a person’s brain, reads signals from the brain, and even modifies them to solve problems.
It’s basically a “Fitbit in your tiny skull,” Musk explained.
Elon Musk Neuralink
Neuralink’s original concept was a chip placed behind the ear, with wires extending to the skull. The design has changed significantly and the device now looks like a small coin.
According to Musk, when you install a Neuralink, they remove a small part of your skull and insert the Neuralink inside, where it will be at the same level as the skull (with no protruding electronics). Electrical wires about 1/20, the thickness of the hair, extend to the brain, where they can pick up or manipulate electrical signals.
For many potential Neuralink users, undergoing brain surgery can make things difficult for them, but the company is not only building the chip, but also a robot to install it. Ideally, the robot will take care of the more difficult aspects of the surgery, which Neuralink expects will last less than an hour and be performed without general anesthesia.
The device has an “all day” battery life and can be recharged wirelessly.
Three little pigs show that it can be eliminated
Although the device is not yet ready for human-tested subjects, the company has experimented with animals and brought in some to demonstrate the safety of the implant.
The Neuralink team removed three pigs: one with a brain not touched by a Neuralink, another that had a Neuralink that was later removed (to show that you can remove one without negative consequences), and Gertrude, a pig that currently has a Neuralink installed. . It took a few minutes to convince Gertrude to come out from behind the curtain, but once they did, Musk showed that the pig was still behaving normally, but he also took a look at the signals transmitted from the implant on a screen.
After the demo, the Neuralink team answered a few questions about the device. Currently, he is limiting the project to the cortical surface, but he intends to eventually penetrate deeper parts of the brain, where the device could improve vision, for example.
Elon Musk Neuralink
The first clinical trial is aimed at patients with spinal cord injuries, such as paraplegia, but the device could one day have casual applications, such as allowing users to play StarCraft through their minds. Musk even said that one day people will be able to save and reproduce memories, and even download them into a new body.
In the past, we wondered if these chips would be vulnerable to hackers who could steal data about the brain. The team also assured viewers that security is important and that brain data will be properly encrypted, so hopefully hackers won’t be a thing for years to come.
As for the price, Musk thinks it will be quite expensive at first, but as time passes, he expects it to drop to a few thousand dollars.
Elon Musk Neuralink Surgical Robot
While science was central to Elon Musk’s presentation of Neuralink, his computer inference company of the human brain, the surgical robot the company debuted with caused a sensation. The round sci-fi polycarbonate design of the neurosurgeon muzzle looks like something out of the Portal franchise, but is actually the brainchild of Vancouver-based industrial design firm Woke Studio. To be clear, Musk engineers and scientists created the core technology, but Woke built the robot’s look and user experience, as well as the latest behind-the-ear communication element that Neuralink showcased in previous presentations.
Neuralink’s mouth has a clean white (necessary to ensure sterility for each awakening), arc lines and smooth surfaces for a look that simultaneously signals its advanced technical capabilities, but it also contains some calming and more accessible elements, which is wise. , taking into account what the device is intended to do.
Patient may not be awake to see the car in action, it was still important to design a non-intimidating robot that could aesthetically co-exist with the iconic cars in Musk’s portfolio, the company said in a statement. Press release. It also had to meet a long list of medical sterility and maintenance requirements and provide safe and perfect use for its operators.
Woke says that the Neuralink surgical robot can be divided into three main parts: the head, the body, and the base. The robot head is that headphone-like piece that supports the patient’s head. It also includes a guide for the surgical needle, as well as built-in cameras and sensors to map the patent’s brain. The design intent of this piece, which includes a mint-colored interior, is to give the robot “an anthropomorphic trait” that helps distract from the invasive nature of the procedure. There are also disposable bags that cover the inside of the headset for sterile operation.
Surgical robot hero designs the case with the precision instrumentation it covers in mind
a profile view of the surgical robot See 8 photos
The Neuralink robot also has a “body”, the rear assembly, which includes all the parts responsible for the robot’s movement as installed in the procedure. The third element is the base, which practically prevents everything from tipping over and apparently also contains the computational brains of the brain-snout itself.
Neuralink is a company founded by Elon Musk that seeks to diminish what Musk sees as a potential existential threat to human life: the rise of general artificial intelligence. While his short-term goals are to help address medical conditions suffered from brain tissue damage, Musk ultimately hopes that Neuralink can help people keep up with advanced artificial intelligence by giving them a direct connection without bandwidth. . direct, no latency. to their computers, using direct thought input.