It looks like robot hands have taken yet another step into human-like territory, with a team of researchers at John’s Hopkins University recently demonstrating a new neural interface that allows an artificial hand to be used to play the piano. But that’s not all! In true mad scientist fashion, to actually control the hand, the researchers relied on neural activity recorded from a monkey’s brain. According to MIT’s Technology Review, that resulted in the fingers on the hand performing their intended movement about 95 percent of the time. While the system doesn’t currently work in real time, the researchers are reportedly planning a live demonstration with a monkey within the next six months. Apparently foreseeing a potential monkey-machine rampage, however, the researchers have wisely decided to only let the monkey control a virtual version of a prosthetic arm.
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