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Fighter jets piloted by mind control using brain-to-machine implant on the horizon

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Thomas Crain
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Dr Tom Oxley, a neurologist at University of Melbourne UoM and Royal Melbourne Hospital, and Dr Nick Opie, a biomedical engineer at the UoM's Vascular Bionics Laboratory, have been working together with surgeons and engineers across 16 departments in UoM to develop a brain-machine interface in the last four years that could make telepathy truly possible.

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The researchers have developed a tiny biocompatible implant called a stentrode, which comes with an array of electrodes that sits in a blood vessel next to the brain in order to record electrical activity from the motor cortex, which is the part of the brain that controls movements.

"If you consider how we use smartphones, it's incredible that we communicate silently to each other without talking.

This would make it much less stressful for the pilot, as flying planes is complex and requires the pilot to be able to evaluate and monitor several things at once.

Darpa is also hoping that the stentrodes can be used to rehabilitate soldiers that have been paralysed in the field, so the electrical signals picked up by the implant can communicate with bionic exoskeletons and enable the patients to think a movement and make it happen in reality.

His mind-controlled robotic exoskeleton suits that enable paraplegic people to stand up and walk were successfully demonstrated at the opening ceremony of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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Thomas Crain
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