Elon Musk’s brain-chip company, Neuralink, is on the hunt for its first human volunteer willing to undergo a groundbreaking procedure.
The ideal candidate should be under 40 years old and quadriplegic.
The procedure will involve the removal of a piece of the volunteer’s skull, allowing a 7-foot-tall robot, named “R1,” equipped with cameras, sensors, and a needle to insert 64 threads into the brain.
Each thread, just 1/14th the diameter of a human hair, is lined with 16 electrodes designed to gather data about brain activity.
This pioneering brain-computer interface aims to enable computer functions through thought, creating a “think-and-click” mechanism. The robotic nature of the procedure is essential, as the precision required to avoid damaging vital tissue is beyond human capability.
Neuralink’s R1 robot has undergone hundreds of experimental surgeries on animals, drawing criticism from animal rights groups.
The exact number of participants in the human trials remains undisclosed.
Individuals with paralysis due to cervical spinal cord injuries or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may qualify.
The trials are expected to take around six years to complete, but the device’s commercial use could take over a decade, even if it proves safe for human use.