The billionaire entrepreneur, Elon Musk has unveiled the brain chip implant which is a great leap forward in human civilization indeed. Elon Musk, the pioneer person of Tesla Inc and SpaceX is trying to expand the horizons in neuroscience this time.
“You could solve blindness, you could solve paralysis, you could solve hearing,” Elon Musk said.
“I think it’s going to blow your minds.” Musk stated in a webcast. “It’s like a fit bit in your skull with tiny wires”
The current prototype is the size of a very tiny coin which can be completely embedded into the skull. 1024 flexible electrode threads run from this minute equipment and implanted into the brain. These threads catch the cerebral cortex of the brain which is responsible for numerous functions including sensory feedback and motor control.
A surgical robot has been designed to implant the electron threads safely on to the cerebral cortex. This robot was innovated by a US company, Woke studios in partnership with Neuralink. The robot has the capability of installing the chip within an hour maximumly even without the general anesthesia, which will allow the patient to leave the hospital on the same day.
“We ultimately want this robot to do essentially the entire surgery; so, everything from the incision, removing the skull, inserting electrodes, placing the device and then closing things up,” Billionaire said on the live event. “We want to have a fully automated system.”
The surgical robot comprises mainly of three elements, the head, body, and the base, thus providing optimal comfort along with a friendly feeling to the patient with its curved edges. Meanwhile, the majority of the robot appears in white, a mint green color is provided at the inner surface of the head to enhance the sterility purposes.
Insertion of the electron thread operation is performed by a needle which is mounted on the machine head while a considerable number of cameras and sensors guide the operation by capturing the whole brain.
The Five-axis movable body of the surgical robot facilitates a controlled movement which promotes “clean and effortless” motions. This asymmetric body mimics a “car-like curvature” in its shape.
The latter part of the robot is in charge of providing the required weight consequently maintaining the structural balance. Further, it holds the processing power necessary for the functionality of the machine.
Musk is planning to test this device and concept to the human in the coming year. Though an exact date for the commercialization of this device has not been still announced, the price of the device will not be more than the price of a high-end smartphone. Unlike the earlier iteration of this device, the latest version is completely fireless and can be charged with an induction coil. It can be directly connected to the user’s smartphone. Mr. Musk along with Neuralink is recruiting a major workforce for scaling the device to practical use. They have already posted several job vacancies on their website.
On the contrary, a Turkish IT specialist Rahmi Aktepe (Head of Turkish Informatics Association) warns about the risk of implanting brain chips because these devices can be hacked and malicious hackers can turn the chip users into killing machines involuntarily. As all kinds of computer systems can be hacked, it is also possible to seize the Neuralink chips and use them for malicious purposes. He further states that Brain Computer Interface (BCI) is only to treat memory loss, hearing loss, depression, and similar diseases by changing the brain signals. But not to control people in the future.