Neuralink's Elon Musk CEO announces embedded chip 'Link' & automatic surgical robot 'V2' that connects the brain and AI
Musk says that Neuralink implants are close to ready for human testing | Ars Technica
Elon Musk trots out pigs in demo of Neuralink brain implants-The Verge
The development of 'technology that enables humans to control computers directly from the brain' was announced in 2019. At this time, an image of a rat in which a chip and a USB Type-C terminal were transplanted to the brain was already released, and it was reported that the monkey succeeded in operating the computer directly from the brain.
Elon Musk announces details of ``Neuralink'' which directly controls smartphones by embedding electrodes in the brain-GIGAZINE
The full movie of the progress presentation of Neuralink held on August 28, 2020 can be seen from the following movie.
Neuralink Progress Update, Summer 2020-YouTube
Neuralink's new chip 'Link' announced this time is the image below, and the version is 0.9. It has evolved from what was announced in 2019 and is shaped and sized like a coin with a diameter of 23 mm and a thickness of 8 mm. According to Musk, the interface was dramatically simplified from the model announced in 2019, and it is no longer necessary to place the tip part behind the ear.
The new Link can be embedded in the skull, and from the appearance it is not known that the Link is embedded. There are 1024 electrodes per Link, and it is possible to measure inertia, temperature and pressure in 6 directions. It also has a battery that can operate for one day. Also, it seems that it is possible to communicate wirelessly up to a distance of 10 meters via Bluetooth.
It seems that charging of the Link will be done by contactless power supply.
There are three stages of implant surgery: 'Open', 'Insert Link', and 'Close'. It seems that the hole for embedding the Link can be opened in the skull using a laser.
And it is the automatic surgical operation robot 'V2' developed by Neuralink that performs implant surgery. An elaborate robot hand with a size of 150 micrometers that can grab a thread with a diameter of 40 micrometers moves with a 5-axis motor.
Use the robot hand to accurately insert the electrode from Link into the brain.
Mr. Musk went down the stage during the recital...
It was a cage with pigs. Since the pig's skull is similar to that of humans, being able to embed the Link in the pig means that it can be embedded in humans without any problems.
Link is already embedded in the pig, and it is possible to monitor brain activity in real time.
In addition, he also succeeded in confirming the reaction of nerves and the cooperation of muscles by putting the pig with the embedded Link on the treadmill and letting it walk.
And this is the capture of the moment when the nerve cells of the pig are firing. The green cells are the nerve cells that are firing.
According to Neuralink, he is conducting 19 animal experiments in one year, and about 87% of the time he succeeded in the operation to connect the Link electrode to the brain. In addition, the company plans to open its own animal testing facility in San Francisco, and CEO Musk said, 'The development of Link has already reached the stage where clinical trials on the human body are possible.' In addition, the series of devices is considered a medical device and will be filed with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to move into clinical trials in humans.
Regarding the price to worry about, Musk said, 'I think this technology will probably be quite expensive at the time of the launch of Link. However, the price will drop rapidly. Eventually thousands of operations including surgery will be done. We would like to reduce the price to the dollar level (hundreds of thousands of yen). We should be able to easily undergo Link's implant surgery as well as LASIK surgery for eyesight recovery.'