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Neuralink, a brain-computer interface (BCI) start-up owned by Elon Musk is recruiting people for its first human trial. To qualify for the trial, you must have quadriplegia due to injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – a disease in which the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain degenerate.
In 2020, Neuralink was successfully implanted in a pig and in 2021, Elon Musk announced that he had successfully enabled a monkey to play video games using Neuralink’s device.
The aim of the study to which they are recruiting humans is to evaluate the safety of the implant and surgical robot and assess the initial functionality of the BCI for enabling people with paralysis to control external devices with their thoughts.
During the study, the R1 Robot will be used to surgically place the N1 Implant’s ultra-fine and flexible threads in a region of the brain that controls movement intention. Once in place, the N1 Implant is cosmetically invisible and is intended to record and transmit brain signals wirelessly to an app that decodes movement intention. The initial goal of our BCI is to grant people the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone.