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Image credit: Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters

DARPA has laid the groundwork for thought-powered prosthetics

The tech blocks out Earth's magnetic field so brain power can take control.
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Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters

New research from the government's mad science wing, DARPA, could make life an awful lot easier for people who use prosthetic limbs. You see, DAPRA has devised what it calls the "Atomic Magnetometer for Biological Imaging in Earth's Native Terrain." Or, "AMBIIENT" if you're into the whole brevity thing.

Essentially what AMBIIENT does is isolate and shield the Earth's incredibly strong magnetic frequencies from a piece of equipment so that the minuscule ones produced by the human body can do things like control artificial limbs with the weak magnetic waves that are produced by thoughts. "Potentially on the horizon, for example, are sensor systems for detecting spinal signals, diagnosing concussions and brain-machine interfaces," the post from DARPA reads.

"High sensitivity magnetic sensing and imaging will offer a powerful new tool for medical research and clinical diagnosis of neurological and cardial activity," AMBIIENT's program manager Robert Lutwak says. The big idea is to make a version of the tech that is not only cheap, but one that can work practically anywhere without encountering magnetic interference. From the sounds of it, there's still quite a ways to go.

On April 3rd, DARPA will host a pitch-off of sorts where folks can propose their ideas for implementations of the tech. If you want in, you'll have to register prior.

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