back to article Boffins in live-monkey-brain robot weblink arms race

Battling scientists around the world are racing to be first to develop practical robots remotely controlled by harvested monkey brains over the internet. The Times of India reports scarcely 48 hours ago that a living "monkey head" in North Carolina was able to "control a pair of robot legs in Japan via a web link". "The …


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  1. bRick
    Paris Hilton

    The internet?

    I think there are enough monkey brains on the internet as it is...

  2. LaeMi Qian

    So what are the military applications...

    ...of flinging dung at your opponents?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @LaeMi Qian

    Clearly it's a shock and awe tactic.

  4. Rob

    Oh bugger! ....

    .... we're really setting oursleves up for an arse-kicking in the future.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Erm ...

    ... why over the internet ? Why not next to the brain. Without stimuli how did the brain know what it was doing - no feeback to tell it that it still had legs to move etc. May as well just move them manually for all the applicable use it is.

    Now, find a monkey without legs, make some robotic ones, graft 'em on and then get to control it and I'll be impressed - and also wanting to purchase one as a faithful minion ...

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Mojo Jojo objects

    "That's all just well enough because in reality there is only room enough in this world for one Mojo Jojo. One shall be the number of Mojo Jojos in the world, and the number of Mojo Jojos in the world shall be one. Two Mojo Jojos is too many and three is right out. So the only Mojo Jojo there is room for in the world shall be me, and being the only Mojo Jojo in the world, I will rule the world in which there is only one Mojo Jojo."

  7. Shakje

    From what I've seen (no pun intended)...

    it's not difficult to override the optic nerve. There's some random professor in the UK I remember seeing on TV who plugged a sonar into his optic nerve to simulate how bats see (after blindfolding himself of course). It worked quite successfully.

    I'd of thought it would be easier to put stimuli into the brain than get meaningful data out.

  8. Pum

    I for one welcome our ...

    ... remote robot monkey brain overlords!

    Someone had to say it ;)

  9. David S

    Already been done.

    here's the proof:

  10. Brett Brennan

    Futurama already did it...

    ...see the episode where Bender sells his body and Nixon's head commandeers it to become President of Earth...

    Ooops - gotta run and pick up the new Futurama movie at the market...

    (door slams as coat goes on...)

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Monkey powered suicide bombers

    1. Fire Banana at Target

    2. Set Monkey powered legs carrying bomb on its way

    3. Shoot ANY enemy soldiers carrying distracting Banana's

    The military applications are staggering.

    Wonder how they stop the monkey stopping and picking its bottom ?

  12. Steve

    Always mount a scratch monkey

    Old story, which could almost be a BOFH exploit, except it's true...

  13. Dale

    1,000,000 monkeys

    Maybe they will finally write that great novel they've always been talking about.

  14. Dan Grabski

    Had to be said.

    Yeah, but Monty Python showed us all how to deal with rogue fruit-wielding terrorists.

    Mine's the black one on the first coat hook, thanks.

  15. Alan Potter

    I hope they don't depend on certain UK ISPs

    I obviously won't mention any names otherwise this post will never get published, but can you imagine losing your Internet connection (which happens rather frequently) just as you're trying to get your leg over or something. And so you phone their helpdesk and have to listen to some God-awful music after you've pressed '1', '2', '1' or whatever while your legs are twitching away and your object of desire's meter is running. And then you get through to Bombay and you have to give them your bank details and your date of birth and what you had for lunch, which your OoD is busy making notes of. And then a monkey takes over (on your legs, not the phone call) and does a better job of what you were hoping to be doing.

    But I think I'd better retire. I'm getting too old for all this... No coat, just that Zimmer frame, thanks...

  16. Jon Tocker

    I'm sure I saw...

    Something like this on a docuentary ages ago - using monkeys with implanted electrodes to control a robot arm - they were hyping it back then as a great step towards being able to effectively replace an amputated limb with an advanced prosthetic controlled by impulses in the brain. They also had humans wearing a scalp cap with sensors in it to do the same thing.

    According to the doco, the more electrodes/sensors in place the more accurate the reading and predictability of results - it seems that when moving limbs, neurons fire all across your brain so the more you can detect while a person is doing a task, the better you will be able to determine what is being requested by the brain activity - then the computer turns translates the impulses into a series of controls for the limb.

    They, too, demonstrated that it could control limbs across a network link and mooted the idea of suitably equipped workers remotely dealing with hazardous materials with far greater precision and dexterity than is achievable with current remote waldos.

    Once they get appropriate feedback from the devices, they would effectively have a sense of touch that would enable better control when handling different objects (like feeling exactly how hard you're squeezing that egg with your remote robotic hand.)

    Another mooted idea was wearing a rig with a pair of robot limbs to supplement one's own natural limbs - now, a second pair of hands is something we've probably all wished for.

    Shakje, I was not aware of that experiment. Thanks.

  17. Brian

    Dammit Laemi Qian....

    That was the FIRST thing that popped into my head when I read the article...

    Cheers to great minds (well, similar minds anyway) thinking alike. The type of minds that would be rejected for removal and implantation in some horribly ill-concieved RoboCop-esque scenario.

    I, for one, welcome the advance of our simian-metallic, fecculant-wielding, banana-seeking overlords. Really.

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