US military research body DARPA is funding a project to create a mind-reading helmet that could let soldiers fly drones and control robots telepathically. Led by Texas-based researchers, the project will start by trying to read the vision of one person and transfer it into the brain of someone who is visually impaired. The helmet works by using both light and magnetic fields to interact with specially-reprogrammed neurons in the brain of the wearer. The Magnetic, Optical and Acoustic Neural Access (MOANA) project is exploring a minimally invasive, nonsurgical approach to connect human brains with a machine via a special helmet. Users will undergo gene therapy that will make certain neurons absorb light when firing.
The Pentagon's research arm is moving forward with a project that intends to bridge the gap between humans and machines. DARPA will select teams today to develop a neural interface as part of its new N3 program, with a goal of developing systems that would allow troops to send and receive information using their brainwaves, according to Nextgov. This means troops could one day control drones, cyber defense systems, and other technology with their mind. It might sound like science fiction, but the agency is looking to see this done in one of two ways: a non-invasive device outside of the body, or a non-surgical system that could be swallowed, injected, or delivered up the nose. The Pentagon's research arm is moving forward with a project that intends to bridge the gap between humans and machines.
Science-fiction can sometimes be a good guide to the future. In the film Upgrade (2018) Grey Trace, the main character, is shot in the neck. His wife is shot dead. Trace wakes up to discover that not only has he lost his wife, but he now faces a future as a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic. He is implanted with a computer chip called Stem designed by famous tech innovator Eron Keen – any similarity with Elon Musk must be coincidental – which will let him walk again.
EMILY BORGHARD has a computer inside her skull, but you wouldn't know it to look at her. A small bump behind her left ear, the only external evidence of her implant, is partially covered by a tuft of hair that's still growing in from the last time she had the batteries changed. Before Borghard received a brain implant, she was having as many as 400 "spikes" of seizure-like activity a day, along with multiple seizures. This unrelenting storm of abnormal neural activity turned her teenage years into a semiconscious nightmare. She couldn't drive a car, attend classes or be left alone for more than half an hour.
A U.S. Military DARPA program is putting $65 million into the creation of an implantable device that will provide data-transfer between human brains and the digital world. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the emerging technology organization under the U.S. Department of Defense, announced Monday that five research institutions and one private corporation will be recipients of the brain-to-computer research grants. The program seeks to heighten hearing, sight and other sensory perception as well as creating a digital brain implant to relay neuron transmissions directly to digital devices. The recipients of the $65 million Materials for Transduction (MATRIX) program grants are: Brown University; Columbia University; University of California, Berkeley; Fondation Voir et Entendre (The Seeing and Hearing Foundation); John B. Pierce Laboratory and San Jose, California-based Paradromics, Inc. CEO Matt Angle's Paradromics Inc. is the mind-to-machine "Broadband for the brain" research company set to rake in as much as $18 million from the contract. He tells MIT Technology Review that the funding comes with a "moonshot" list of requirements, including the implant's size being smaller than a nickel and the mandatory ability to send signal back into the brain.