American billionaire Ilon Mask founded “Neuralink” two years ago. At the moment of creation, he said that the main task of the new company would be to develop technologies that would allow the human brain to be combined with the machine. Since its foundation, the company has remained silent, without telling any details about its progress. Today, Ilon Mask, together with the management of “Neuralink”, held a presentation where he shared the details of the new project for the first time.
How does “Neuralink” work?
The closest goal of “Neuralink” is to learn how to implant special devices to paralyzed people so that they can use computers and phones. After the surgery, people will be able to “write” text messages and browse the Internet with their thoughts. One of the company’s goals is to develop a method that will allow these devices to be implanted with less brain impairment than today’s methods.
For these purposes “Neuralink” has developed flexible “threads” ranging in thickness from 4 to 6 micrometers, which are much thinner than a human hair. According to the company, this size reduces the risk of brain damage during implantation. “Threads contain electrodes that will monitor brain activity after implantation.
The “Neuralink” company has developed a special neurosurgical robot for implantation of “threads” into the brain. It is capable to implant automatically six “threads” in a minute, which contain a total of 192 electrodes.
The robot uses high quality optics, which helps it not to touch blood vessels during the operation, thus reducing the risk of inflammatory reactions. At the moment, threading technology requires drilling holes in the skull, but in the future the company hopes to use lasers and do implantation without anesthesia.