Elon Musk announces plans for another human implant for Neuralink BCI

Elon Musk said during a Neuralink live stream event that the brain-computer interface (BCI) maker has plans for another […]

Elon Musk said during a Neuralink live stream event that the brain-computer interface (BCI) maker has plans for another human implant.

This second implant should come over the course of “the next week or so,” according to the entrepreneur. It would mark the second human BCI implant for the company, which completed its first in January. A nine-minute livestream demonstration showed Noland Arbaugh using the Neuralink BCI to move a computer cursor and play chess online.

These implants come as part of a clinical trial for the somewhat controversial Telepathy implant. The company previously expected a total of 10 implants this year. However, Musk amended that during the stream to “high single digits.”

Neuralink’s remotely rechargeable implant goes along with electrode-laced threads that go further into the brain. The company also has an R1 robot designed to implant the BCI system while avoiding vasculature. It’s one of many companies battling for the top spot in the growing BCI space.

However, the company hit a snag over a potential wiring issue with the BCI in May. Neuralink said previously that several threads retracted from the brain in the weeks following the first human implant. The retraction led to a net decrease in the number of effective electrodes and a reduction in data bits-per-second (BPS). This metric measures the speed and accuracy of the patient’s ability to use the BCI technology to control a computer mouse cursor.

Neuralink reportedly knew of this issue for years, but felt it was not enough of a risk to require a redesign effort. Still, the FDA in May gave the company the go-ahead to complete this upcoming second human implant.

Original article (https://www.massdevice.com/neuralink-plans-second-human-bci-implant/)