The US government has plans to turn futuristic robot movies into a reality, with research into turning soldiers in cyborgs, and connecting them directly to their computer systems.
DARPA, also known as The US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has released the knowledge of their new research named Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) which plans to implant a robot like interface directly into their soldiers, allowing the to connect straight to their computers and software whilst on the battlefield.
Syncing humans to computers in not a new topic of discussion, with efforts to create robotic creations going on for years. These, of course, have been futile with talk of human morality coming into play, and the pure factor of time, delaying the course of work.
“Today’s best brain-computer interface systems are like two supercomputers trying to talk to each other using an old 300 baud modem. Imagine what will become possible when we upgrade our tools to really open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics” reported Phillip Alvelda, manager for Darpa.
Merging Human Minds and Robots
Connecting human minds to interfaces use a large amount of neurons at one time which stands somewhere between 100 and 1,00 to a machine causing the highest risk of trauma, however, DARPA aims to adapt the technology themselves, and lower the risk by targeting individual neurons creating higher speed between the human mind and the computer. Lowering risk and creating a higher consistency.
Of course with such research, comes higher targets that prevent it from happening such as huge breakthroughs in neuroscience, biology, medical devices, packaging and more. As well as agreement on human testing and breaking through the human morality outroar which will soon ensue.
It goes without saying that anything Darpa funds has the military in mind as the end goal, but this isn’t the first research to do with robotics. Repairing loss of limbs and senses would be a breeze with the help of robotics, however, this research project would be the first to pioneer the robotic side to the military.
“The NESD programme ties into the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies initiative launched by Barack Obama in 2013, which pledged $100m towards research aiming to cure or help brain disorders and brain damage”.
Although the research could be the start of technology becoming one with the human mind, and causing a tip in the scale in the military aspect, it will not happen overnight. Several breakthroughs need to be made with both robotics and the human mind. It may not happen overnight, but with all of the good sides of this research, I’m sure everyone has their fingers crossed that it won’t turn into IRobot overnight.