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Researchers develop robotic brain-computer interface

Nilay Patel

Brain-computer interfaces have been kicking around for a few years now, but they're relatively slow and unwieldy, which kind of puts a damper on world-domination plans -- the guy with the keyboard would probably be well into the missile-launch sequence by the time you've strapped on your dork-helmet. That might be slowly changing, though, as Caltech researchers are working on a robotic brain-computer interface, which can currently be implanted directly into non-human primate brains and move itself around to optimize readings. Although the MEMS-based motor system that actually moves the electrodes is still being developed, the software to do the job is ready to go, and the whole system being presented this week at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Pasadena. Robot-android chimps? Sure, that's just what we need.