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back to article Now that's real science: CYBORG MONKEYS with PROSTHETIC ARMS

Exciting news on various important science and tech beats today, as we learn that boffins have achieved breakthroughs in the allied fields of brain-chipped monkeys, robotics and cybernetics. To wit, they have been working out how to equip monkeys wielding robot arms with a sense of touch. Rather than monkey, robot, or monkey- …

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Anonymous Coward

teledildonics

how long before it's used for porn?

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Re: teledildonics -- "Air-gapped" autoerotica

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I for one welcome our new cyborg overlords

Whats the worst that could happen being slaved to a bunch of monkeys.....

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Re: I for one welcome our new cyborg overlords

I seem to recall New York looking a little more.... 'Rural' in Planet of the Apes.

I'm sure the Green lobby might be happy, whilst under the whip of Cyborg Gorilla Warriors (TM).

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Replacement limbs for American troops

As soon as I read that, my first thought was of that guy from Starship Troopers

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System Shock 2

Cyborg Monkeys? Better keep a wrench or something handy..

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Pint

Brilliant progress, but I always wonder, why do they have to go all the way to the brain for lost limbs? there is usually a perfectly good nerve in the stump, can't we just wire that up to the limb? it JUST sends electrical signals right? (I say just, I know the nervous system is very complex) it just always made me wonder why I never hear of it being tried..

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Boffin

It's definitely been tried. I attended a talk by a guy who did an experiment like that on himself (essentially inserting tiny wires directly into the nerve - an incredibly painful process apparently).

If I remember correctly he was receiving the stimuli from someone else, having it sent over wifi then into his own hand.

That was a few years back though so I don't know what happened with him or his research.

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Happy

The fact of the matter is that actually interfacing with and making use of nerves themselves is beyond modern science. Nerves are extraordinarily complex for their size and not actually very well understood. Most nerve related surgeries today actually remove tissue/bone away from the nerves as not much can actually be done with the nerves themselves

Going directly for the brain is, surprisingly, a far less precise practice. The brain provides a, comparatively, much larger target as you only have to get 'close' with the electrodes then zap the entire desired area. Nerves don't allow for that kind of gross interaction, there is no room for error or it simply won't work and we don't have technology that precise yet.

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"It's definitely been tried. I attended a talk by a guy who did an experiment like that on himself (essentially inserting tiny wires directly into the nerve - an incredibly painful process apparently).

If I remember correctly he was receiving the stimuli from someone else, having it sent over wifi then into his own hand."

aaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnddddd... we're back at comment 1.

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Re: MrXavia - "there is usually a perfectly good nerve in the stump"

There are no neuron cell-bodies in the nerves down the periphery, they all reside in the brain or spinal cord. The nerve bundle (down to your hand say) is just axons and support cells (myelin sheath). When a nerve is severed and rejoined surgically the axons will regrow down the myelin tubes they are aligned with but if they do not reconnect to the correct ending type (pressure, heat, pain or muscular junction) that they supplied before then the axon dies back to the neuron body and that also dies. Thus the 'nerves' you want to connect to just aren't there in the limb any more.

Pinched off nerves where the axons have died from a short term lack of nutrients will regrow successfully as they grow back down the original myelin sheath. Had both types of damage myself; first is accompanied by muscle atrophy and permanent loss of sensation, while the second type recovered after 3 months from mid humerus to fingers.

There are certain nerve cells outside the CNS but these are not skeleto-muscular or sensory.

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Getting there

It looks like I may never get my personal jet-pack but my army of flying monkeys is a good bet.

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That's handy

I...I apologise

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Re: That's handy... No, that's "handomatic", if you will...

No, that's "handomatic", if you will... Would give a whole new meaning to "it's all in the wrist", tho the flick of the wrist by an ape/monkey/gorilla against a human could be fatal...

Now, just encode syncopation, rock, music, and more, and you can have a Riverdance of Rhesus... Maybe Rhesus Piecesus in a quarted, or octet, hahaha...

What is that saying, from the pre-80's? "Given an infinite number of typewriters and an infinite number of chimpanzees, eventually, you'll get 'War and Peace'", hahaha.

Well, now, given a finite amount of code, and a fine night of a chimpanzee, and you can have one crank out infinite duplicates of 'War and Peace', albeit, that will be some SERIOUSLY fucked up monkey business.

I wonder if chimps and monkeys could get carpal tunnel syndrome, or RMI.

With proper stimuli, these would be hellatious "shock troops". Any army facing these in the form of gorillas had better prepare for 'gorilla warfare' by arriving with AP and willie pete and some shotgun-prox M19 frag, lest they be up against Colorado-based Army controllers and (ch)Air Force drones flying resupply drones for the thick-chested drones, hahaha....

Monkey business willl soon enter a new era of mon(k)ey business...

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Terminator

I for one welcome our monkey cyborg overlords....

Now where did the welcome icon go :(

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Electrodes.

A lot of blind people have opted to have electrodes stuck into their brains in order to get their sense of sight back, so I don't see why it's so unlikely that people would opt for the same thing to get a sense of touch back.

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Re: Electrodes.

It isn't exactly 'a lot' lot of people who have had that kind of surgery. Since the late 1960's there have been about 80,000 total brain implant surgeries and the outcomes generally haven't been great.

The implants generally don't perform as well as anticipated, they are extremely high maintenance to the point of installing 'quick access' ports permanently in the patients skull and the side effects are often intensely bizzare and difficult to live with. Infection risk is also extraordinarily high and usually fatal or at the least results in chunks of the brain having to be removed.

At present, brain implants are the last hope for the desperate and courageous. It'll be quite a while before such things become commonplace. We simply don't have the knowledge or technology necessary to make such procedures practical for widespread use.

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Brain augments are a staple of SF. Especially the new generation. Almost every SF book I have read lately have some sort of augmented brain.

I am not saying SF is reality but I think the most likely outcome of technology is augmented brains. There is nothing especially risky about having a head full of chips.

True cyborg armies. The dream of every Dystopian Military Juggernaut.

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Anonymous Coward

Take your stinking robotic paws off me, you damn dirty ape!

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For some reason

I am reminded of words I heard ever so often in my childhood:

"Steve Austin, a man barely alive..."

Am I the only one?

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But will the cyborg monkeys fling cyberpoop?

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Great

Now they can fling their shit more accurately and at hypervelocities.

It's bad enough going home from the zoo smelling of monkey crap. Now you'll have to deal with concussion as well.

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Pictures

Or it didn't happen!

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Re: Pictures

I'd settle for playmobil cyborg monkeys

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