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New Interface Could Wire Prosthetics Directly Into Amputees' Nervous Systems

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the we-can-make-him-better dept.

Medicine 160

cylonlover writes "Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories have announced a breakthrough in prosthetics that may one day allow artificial limbs to be controlled by their wearers as naturally as organic ones, as well as providing sensations of touch and feeling. The scientists have developed a new interface consisting of a porous, flexible, conductive, biocompatible material through which nerve fibers can grow and act as a sort of junction through which nerve impulses can pass to the prosthesis and data from the prosthesis back to the nerve. If this new interface is successful, it has the potential to one day allow nerves to be connected directly to artificial limbs."

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160 comments

The cyborg limbs get hacked.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39249875)

Stop punching yourself.
Stop punching yourself.
Stop punching yourself.

Re:The cyborg limbs get hacked.... (2, Funny)

tiago.bonetti (1995614) | more than 2 years ago | (#39249931)

Ghost in the Shell

Re:The cyborg limbs get hacked.... (1)

Muramas95 (2459776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39249967)

Fullmetal Alchemist

Re:The cyborg limbs get hacked.... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250545)

Neuromancer

Re:The cyborg limbs get hacked.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250981)

Johnny Mnemonic

Re:The cyborg limbs get hacked.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250789)

Deus Ex

I never asked for this.

Re:The cyborg limbs get hacked.... (-1, Troll)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250061)

First there was the collapse of civilization: anarchy, genocide, starvation. Then when it seemed things couldn't get any worse, we got the plague. The Living Death, quickly closing its fist over the entire planet.

Then we heard the rumors: that the last scientists were working on a cure that would end the plague and restore the world. Restore it? Why? I like the death! I like the misery! I like this world!

Re:The cyborg limbs get hacked.... (0)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250519)

+1 Funny

WTF with the dour, humorless mods?

Re:The cyborg limbs get hacked.... (0, Troll)

Rakarra (112805) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250521)

Mods, this should really be +1, Troll. Please moderate accordingly.

Re:The cyborg limbs get hacked.... (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250969)

Troll? Really why?

Did it remind you of a childhood filled with swirlies and atomic wedgies?

Re:The cyborg limbs get hacked.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39251083)

Stop punching yourself.
Stop punching yourself.
Stop punching yourself.

Even worse, we really don't have to amputate your leg, just make you feel like it was, for hours!

The Warrior's bland acronym, MMI, obscures... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39249901)

The Warrior's bland acronym, MMI, obscures the true horror of
this monstrosity. Its inventors promise a new era of genius, but
meanwhile unscrupulous power brokers use its forcible installation
to violate the sanctity of unwilling human minds. They are
creating their own private army of demons.

-- Commissioner Pravin Lal,
"Report on Human Rights"

Re:The Warrior's bland acronym, MMI, obscures... (2)

Flyerman (1728812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250235)

I think, and my thoughts cross the barrier into the synapses of the machine - just as the good doctor intended.
But what I cannot shake, and what hints at things to come, is that thoughts cross back.
In my dreams the sensibility of the machine invades the periphery of my consciousness.
Dark. Rigid. Cold. Alien.
Evolution is at work here, but just what is evolving remains to be seen.

-- Commissioner Pravin Lal,
"Man and Machine"

Sarif (2)

ticker47 (954580) | more than 2 years ago | (#39249915)

They aren't by chance starting a company called Sarif are they?

Re:Sarif (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250103)

Unfortunately I think we are sans a company called Sarif for now.

Re:Sarif (1)

Hogmoru (639374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250331)

A bit lame, but I chuckled...

Re:Sarif (2)

Briareos (21163) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251305)

I'd prefer the world stayed sans Sarif...

Resistance is futile... (0)

bytethese (1372715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39249969)

I welcome my new Borg overlords.

Re:Resistance is futile... (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250211)

Overlords? You need to step up to the hacker challenge.

Step one: Install root kit in 7 of 9's interface. Step two: Party!

Re:Resistance is futile... (4, Funny)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250337)

Rooting her kit comments in five... four...

Re:Resistance is futile... (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251299)

I'd seven her nine, if you get what I mean!

Holy Crap (3, Insightful)

Bovius (1243040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250035)

I know this is still a research project and they don't know how well it's actually going to work in practice, but the fact that we're approaching a machine-nerve interface at all is incredible. If they are successful, they will end up with a permanent, prominent place in our history books.

Good work, people.

Re:Holy Crap (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250409)

I saw the same functionality, i.e., artificial limbs controlled by a machine-nerve interface, demoed during a plenary talk at the 2008 IEEE Engineering in Biology and Medicine conference, and the results were incredible. One man, who had lost an arm, but had one of these artificial ones grafted on, was practically as dexterous as those with a natural arm and was able to interact with everyday objects with ease.

Re:Holy Crap (1)

Bovius (1243040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250979)

Link/source? Some cursory googling produced results that weren't quite what you're talking about, and I'd love to learn more about what was happening there.

Re:Holy Crap (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250579)

No kidding. While this is primarily targeted at controlling artificial limbs, that's merely one relatively obvious application. Once we have an *accurate* neural interface there's no reason to (nor will we) stop there, and I think that aspect of the story is the true, potentially century-defining breakthrough.

Re:Holy Crap (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39251521)

I can see the patents now:

Browser that is controlled by neural interface.
Form system that fills fields by using neural interface.
Comment posting system that uses neural interface.
Paint system that uses neural interface.
Etc.

Making tech level progress... (5, Funny)

torchdragon (816357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250037)

Excellent! Now we can build Copters, Thinkers, Drop Pods and start work on the The Cyborg Factory.

Re:Making tech level progress... (4, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250501)

"Excellent! Now we can build Copters, Thinkers, Drop Pods and start work on the The Cyborg Factory."

Mmm, I was more along the line like fitting a man, a former astronaut named Steve Austin from OSI with implants for ...let's say 6 million dollars.

And now get off my lawn.

Re:Making tech level progress... (3, Funny)

bytethese (1372715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251475)

Except now he'd be the $27,586,004.06 man. Gotta love inflation!

Kind of doubt my insurance will cover (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250049)

And we wonder why the cost of health care keeps skyrocketing....

Re:Kind of doubt my insurance will cover (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250133)

Yes... Insurance costs too much not because the companies providing it are greedy and profit driven, but because of all those amputees ruining it for the rest of us. (fyi, dont do a Google image search for "amputees" with safe search turned off. Need mind bleach).

Wireless mouse (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250051)

Can't wait to replace all my tablets, touchscreens, wireless mice, and keyboards with my new virtual cybernectic tail. Cybernectic telephathy is the future. Rest in piece copyright, tellivisons, and hand held cell phones.

Re:Wireless mouse (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250077)

You'd better add a spell checker to that list of things you want implanted.

Re:Wireless mouse (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250509)

And lasers! (Head mounted preferably)

Re:Wireless mouse (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251337)

You know, when they guy driving the taxi told you to shove your cellphone up your ass, I'm pretty sure he wasn't being literal...

Need new glasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250117)

Read that as prostitutes

Cyborgs and Zombies (2)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250157)

Are cyborgs safe from becomming zombies?

If so- I want all my body parts converted to artificial parts BEFORE the zombie apocalypse. Afterwards it would be too late.

Re:Cyborgs and Zombies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250245)

You don't get it.

Thanks to malware, the cyborgs will be the zombies.

Re:Cyborgs and Zombies (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251361)

Sudden and unexpected involuntary cheerleaders for penis-pills more likely.

Re:Cyborgs and Zombies (1)

slyrat (1143997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251375)

Are cyborgs safe from becoming zombies?

If so- I want all my body parts converted to artificial parts BEFORE the zombie apocalypse. Afterwards it would be too late.

Depends, I would assume that to still be a cyborg and not a robot you would need to have your brain intact. So even if everything else was converted you could still at least be zombified via the brain. Admittedly you might be immune because of the body being non-flesh but not completely.

Interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250167)

Resistance is Futile

You will be Assimilated

- The Borg

Screw the Borg... (1)

The_Crisis (2221344) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250527)

Go-Go-Gadget [insert appendage/organ name here]!

Re:Screw the Borg... (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251321)

Go-Go-Gadget Spleen?

Obligatory response: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250187)

I never asked for this.

Pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250189)

The article doesn't say but I wonder if it will be possible to provide, e.g. temperature data to the nerves without also sending pain? Could amputees choose whether or not they wanted to feel pain in their prosthesis?

Re:Pain (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250231)

You can always take out the battery

Re:Pain (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250677)

It'd make sense to retain the pain response for the purposes of avoiding damage - the mechanics of the arm might handle high temperature for a while, but the plastic artificial skin would melt on contact.

Re:Pain (1)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250693)

You mechs might have copper wiring to reroute your fear of pain, but I've got nerves of steel.

It's a fascinating idea, but... (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250237)

The idea of direct neural interfaces has intrigued me all through my years of reading about cyborgs and brain-in-a-bottle science fiction.

But when it comes to practical application, one thing has always puzzled me: How do you disconnect the device once it's "grown" into being part of your nervous system? How do you replace failed parts or repair the electronic/mechanical component of such devices?

The "Six Million Dollar Man" made for entertaining TV, but in practicality, was he supposed to lie on a guerney for days while they repaired a leg?

Re:It's a fascinating idea, but... (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250367)

I should say it would be no worse than the original amputation.

Re:It's a fascinating idea, but... (1)

robinsonne (952701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250531)

Once you've "grown" the connection between the nervous system and the "electrical" part, why can't the rest of it be modular and easy to plug in and out as needs come up.

Have an arm/hand for fine delicate precision work, have a different one for playing racquetball, have another for heavy lifting, etc. while the actual interface part always stays the same.

Re:It's a fascinating idea, but... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250543)

I don't understand what problem you think exists. Assuming the interface itself doesn't need to be replaced, you just pull a connector (which leads to the nerve/wire interface) and remove the artificial limb or whatever. I guess you could be temporarily inconvenienced by having your arms/legs in the shop. You'd probably get some phantom limb syndrome too.

Re:It's a fascinating idea, but... (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250847)

I'm not so sure about that at all. In order for there to be a grown neural interface, there has to be a component that merges with the flesh, what you refer to as a connector (and which I think of as a mount point, like a gun turret.)

My concern is not just the failure of the attached prosthetic, which could be detached and repaired as you suggest, but the components of the neural interface itself. I think it's far more likely that as time progresses, such devices would be designed and built with the idea of being a permanent and unremovable replacement limb, eye, or ear, which brings me back to the question on how to repair such devices.

It's too early to worry about such issues, but it's not too early to start talking about them.

Re:It's a fascinating idea, but... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251057)

This is no joke: Hundreds of thousands' fitted with faulty hip implants [nydailynews.com] .

The thing we have working for us is that devices don't have to last forever - just until you die. So in practice, risky procedures (and drugs) become mainstream by starting on patients with extremely short life expectancies or very low quality of life, and then gradually reducing the threshold for using the treatment as the kinks are worked out. But young people who receive joint replacements today are told they'll last 10-20 years [drstoller.com] until you're back in the shop, which is definitely expensive, inconvenient, and somewhat medically risky. If I were a young vet being considered for some fresh-from-DARPA neural interface, I would seriously consider the fact that I will almost certainly outlast the research program and even the doctors who implanted my one-of-a-kind device. They'll almost certainly end up scraping it out for an upgrade within 15 years.

Give Santorum a new head instead (0)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250283)

Skip the robot limbs. Give Santorum a new head instead. That would be beneficial.

Re:Give Santorum a new head instead (0)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250435)

Can we not just take away his existing one without giving him a new one?

Re:Give Santorum a new head instead (0)

The_Crisis (2221344) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250497)

That would be beneficial.

Not if it ends up returning to its natural environment, aka its owner's rectal cavity.

Adverse Events (5, Interesting)

Milo Fungus (232863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250299)

I am a doctor. In fact, I am a neurologist (IAAN). This article is fascinating, and I hope they keep working on this technology and get it working. That being said, I would never plug one of these things into my own amputated limb. Going to medical school and doing residency have turned me into something of a Luddite. Medical technology is cool, but every treatment has potential benefits and toxicities. The adverse event I would worry about most with this technology is neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is notoriously difficult to treat. What if you plugged this device into some amputee's limb and gave them excruciating pain? I would rather have a metal hook for a hand.

Re:Adverse Events (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250541)

If they still have at least one hand, just put an off switch on it.

Re:Adverse Events (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250713)

It'd be very localised neuropathic pain, coming just from the area of the interface... so couldn't the nerves just be re-severed? Worst case you'd lose a bit more sensation in your limb-stump and be left with a big medical bill.

Re:Adverse Events (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251157)

Since you are a neurologist, I would be interested in your thoughts on using this interface technology in repairing damaged neural pathways or in creating ones that never grew properly (IE: Spinal injury or Spina Bifida)

It seems to me that the ability to simply lay in conductive neural lattices to connect broken pathways would be a HUGE boon *plegics of all stripes and for birth defect victims.

Unless I am hugely underestimating the complexity of the task (likely) or simply mis-reading the article (less likely, although still possible.)

What do you think?

Re:Adverse Events (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251363)

I'd look at it more like a robot arm plus bonus Vicodin for the pain.

avatar (1)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250379)

Also allows for the remote control of robotic surrogates. Think Avatar.

Re:avatar (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250609)

Or...Surrogates.

Seriously we need to have a geek score penalty at this point for making a reference to Avatar when Surrogates is more appropriate. Especially since Surrogates is "harder" sci-fi.

Re:avatar (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250753)

I'm not sure which is stupider though. Surrogates had such a fantastic concept, but threw it all away with an utterly ridiculous ending.

Because our 'hero' can cause a few trillion dollars in economic damage, a new civil war, the return of disease, planes falling from the sky, accidents on an epic scale... and yet still somehow get away with it?

Re:avatar (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251001)

I saw it as a morally ambiguous ending, you wonder if the hero is really the good guy at the end. From what I remember it would have been possible for Bruce Willis' character to get away with the crime, it would at the very least take a police investigation before they'd even know who to look for, so it's not like the cops knew he did it and didn't bother him.

Re:avatar (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251411)

They had a witness who watched him, CCTV coverage of the console room and computer logs. Open and shut case - espicially with the public (those who survive) out for blood. It takes a lot for one person to achieve a body count measured in Hitlers.

It isn't morally ambiguous, because the writers tell the viewer he is doing the right thing. It's morally dumb, because the movie's idea of 'the right thing' would actually be a global disaster of record-breaking proportions, and possibly the collapse of civilisation itsself - but the writers shy away from addressing that and instead, in the ultimate insult, just have a news reporter tell the audience that there were 'no human casualties.'

Planes crash, cars out of control drive into houses, the power grid goes offline with controllers dead at their consoles, doctors collapse across their patients on the operating table, babies are crushed as their parent-surrogates fall on them. Disease returns. The luddites sieze their chance and riot, launching on a spree of arson and destruction across the country, uncontained by a police force too afraid of death to take them on in combat. People in care homes are left abandoned for days. Food delivery in cities becomes impossible with roads clogged solid. War, famine, pestilance and death, all unleahed by our heroic Pandora. And it's all ok, because where were NO FUCKING HUMAN CASUALTIES!

When can I get a Typhoon Enhancement? (0)

klifford (2564585) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250399)

That's the point of all this research, right?

Re:When can I get a Typhoon Enhancement? (1)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250433)

Oh god want

Re:When can I get a Typhoon Enhancement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39251557)

"I never asked for this..."

Wrong market (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250407)

Ok it's cool that amputees get new organs, but jesus, people should be directing this tech at regular people.

Would totall cut off my little index finger to interface with a pc directly. Amputees don't have money. Geeks do.

Inevitable consequence... (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250443)

One day we will truly master the art of connecting human nervous systems to computers. And on the following day, some asshole will create the first neurological malware.

The future is a tech-illiterate grandma driven insane by trojans, trying to claws her own eyes out just to try and make the continuous loop penis enlargement ads stop.

Re:Inevitable consequence... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250907)

You can't really hack the nervous system itself any more than you could hack an analog circuit. All the electronic stuff is fair game though, so I hope the prosthetic limb manufacturers won't be as stupid as the car manufacturers...

Call me when artifical ears are working (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250455)

Please let me know when the artificial ears are working. NF2 runs in my family. Current Auditory Brain Stem Implants just don't work well enough to justify the risk.

Re:Call me when artifical ears are working (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250809)

NF2 trashes the auditory nerve. This technology will be useless to you in its current form. It may, though, lead to advances in the understanding of neural encoding which will be able to improve those ABS implants.

D'oh (1)

silviuc (676999) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250461)

"Give me Deus Ex"

Re:D'oh (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250485)

Yeah, well, you can start saving for that neuropozine today.

I saw this one! (1)

vonshavingcream (2291296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250553)

This is the one where the coyote buys robot legs to chase after the roadrunner ... it didn't work out to well for him, if I remember correctly.

People underestimate the power of the organic. (3, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250561)

1) Organic fails WELL. By that I mean, it causes pain and minor damage before you do something stupid that destroys the entire organic object. Electronics fail badly. Little if any warning, and it operates on the performance edge, so sudden failure is usually catastrophic.

2)Organics do minor self repair, for free (if time+ food = free). They are built to accept the minor damage it gives (see option 1) above.

3) Organic maintenance is limited and automatic inbuilt. We call it SLEEP. Electronic maintenance involves constant attention to detail - oils, software patches, etc.

4) Organics are evolved/designed to run far inside maximum tolerances. In extreme circumstances, they have hidden reserves that suddenly become accessible.

5) Organics are self-replicating. No need for a factory.

Re:People underestimate the power of the organic. (1)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250593)

6) Organics die of disease and age.

Re:People underestimate the power of the organic. (1)

space fountain (1897346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250781)

7) Organisms still last longer than most machines.

Re:People underestimate the power of the organic. (1)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250829)

My PC will not contract malignant cancer.

Re:People underestimate the power of the organic. (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251231)

No, but it could get an embedded trojan and allow some dude in China to control it.

Re:People underestimate the power of the organic. (1)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251289)

My PC has a power switch and I can yank the CAT-5 out of the back of it. If I get cancer, I can't disconnect from the cancer servers until maintenance is performed. Or something. This analogy is getting difficult.

Re:People underestimate the power of the organic. (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250859)

5 complete non sequiturs. The thrust of the article is in helping amputees.

Re:People underestimate the power of the organic. (1)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250897)

The general feeling I get is that the poster is making a pre-emptive strike against arguments in favor of voluntary amputation for mechanical augmentation. Which really doesn't work well as a brand new comment, since the hints of such sentiments are present in other comment threads already. In any case, better a mech limb than no limb.

Re:People underestimate the power of the organic. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250869)

On the other hand:

- Organics do not use interchangeable parts. You can make it work with horrible immunosurpressent hackery, but it's messy.

That really outweighs everything else. If the new robo-arm breaks, you take it to the shop where they figure out which component has failed, yank it out and stick in a new one. Maintainance is only a problem if you are going somewhere isolated where you won't be able to get it to an expert easily to do the diagnosis.

Re:People underestimate the power of the organic. (1)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250943)

Whereas if you get leprosy in your non-robo-arm, or some other terrible thing ..

Re:People underestimate the power of the organic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39251511)

6) Organics that are not there anymore are, well, not available ... The choice is not "this or organic". The choice is "this or nothing".

Name (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250783)

The scientists have developed a new interface consisting of a porous, flexible, conductive, biocompatible material through which nerve fibers can grow and act as a sort of junction through which nerve impulses can pass to the prosthesis and data from the prosthesis back to the nerve.

And they call it: Conjunction Junction.

Bionics? (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 2 years ago | (#39250929)

While a bionic arm might be able to move faster, would possibly be more durable, and could be designed to crush those really formidable keg cans between bicep and forearm, it won't convey the owner with the power to lift cars. Connected merely to bone and muscle, a mere human anatomy wouldn't support a car's weight, and the arm would likely just tear itself free (that being said, consider that people *have* lifted cars and it goes to show just how amazing our own body is). You would need support to the floor, perhaps running down the back connected to bionic legs, etc. Still, getting punched by a bunch of metal can't be good, and all you future Dr. Doom's should be wary.

What, no Darth Vader comments yet? Come on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39250977)

yeah yeah, I'm your father and all, but hey, check out this cool robot arm I have. Someday, son, you'll have one too.

Let's all be realistic (3, Insightful)

JustNilt (984644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251021)

If this new interface is successful

As with so many articles I see about "breakthroughs", this is the key bit. The researchers probably just needed another round of funding so they released some information about it. Call me when we actually have serious trials and it's about to start final testing.

Prior Art (2)

blueforce (192332) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251201)

This has been done already a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

Nice... (1)

CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251331)

Nice but, I'll be even more impressed the day we learn how to regrow limbs.

What to fear more? (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251369)

Entering the matrix or becoming Borg.

We had this in the 70s (1)

djKing (1970) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251711)

Major issue was the strange sounds that went with it when in operation, that and time seemed to slow down. Was somewhat expensive, costing ~6 million to out fit a person with a few limbs. Hope this is an improvement.

What about other nerves? (1)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39251729)

I wonder if this eventually could have ramifications for certain cases of vision and hearing loss.
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