A revolutionary technology that could change the lives of people with disabilities is being developed in the American company Blackrock Neurotech.
The implant could significantly improve the quality of life of people with serious disabilities
This company has implanted NeuroPort Array chips in 50 people with the hope of significantly improving the lives of people with paralysis, depression and physical disabilities. The company aims for people with the implant to eventually control robotic arms and electric wheelchairs using their brains, however, this technology is still in the experimental stage and far from commercial availability.
Nathan Copeland, who suffered a serious spinal injury in a car accident in 2004, is one of the pioneers of this technology, and received the implanted chip in 2014. He achieved a “sensory feedback effect through intracortical microstimulation,” which allowed him to interact with his environment in new ways. The embedded array allows people to connect directly to computers, control robotic arms and wheelchairs, play video games and even regain feeling, all with just their brain signals.
The implant accesses a person’s thoughts through 100 micro-needles that read electrical signals produced by the brain, which are decoded using machine learning. This device has the potential to perform complex tasks, such as using a computer or drawing portraits. However, there is a significant ethical and regulatory issue that must be addressed before the implant can be used outside the lab – according to Unilad, Blackrock Neurotech must obtain FDA approval if the implant is to be taken out of the lab and interfaced with tools.
Despite the challenges, the company’s long-term vision is to make the implant as accessible to people with paralysis as pacemakers are to people with heart problems. If approved and tested properly, the implant could significantly improve the quality of life of people with severe disabilities and other problems.
Source: PC Press by pcpress.rs.
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