Start-up before breakthrough: high brain-Computer should be able to see the Blind again

Maybe Matt Angle is too modest for the Silicon Valley. There is a need to listen to the founder and CEO of the Texas Start-ups Paradromics sometimes, his ideas

Start-up before breakthrough: high brain-Computer should be able to see the Blind again

Maybe Matt Angle is too modest for the Silicon Valley. There is a need to listen to the founder and CEO of the Texas Start-ups Paradromics sometimes, his ideas for the use of brain-Computer-interfaces are a bit boring. "People would find it exciting, if we wanted to make people super intelligent Cyborgs that can perform by the way of the integration-in the head," he says in an interview with 1E9. "But, to be honest, I find our medical applications are at least as fascinating."

upon closer inspection, you can speak to him there's hardly resist. Because Matt and his Team are working on something, what mankind dreams for thousands of years: you want to see the Blind and paralyzed people, where this is not possible, go and talk. "We approach medical problems, and the company suffers for countless generations," he says. "And now, we are only a stone's throw of it, to be able to treat you."

interface to bring the brain and the Computer to communicate with each other

these medical miracles, works Paradromics a brain-Computer-interface – in English: a Brain-Computer Interface, or BCI, to eliminate major drawbacks of previous devices, which were used primarily in the research. The are bulky, have a low rate of data and are also not too durable. But at least you have shown that BCIs work and the communication between the complex body and a machine is possible. What is a real breakthrough, considering how differently Computer and the human brain work.

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During Computer tasks that they perform in high speed a lot of simple calculations sequentially, data is processed in the brain of relatively slow neurons. However, million of a total of 80 to 100 billion of neurons in parallel, and a thought, and not sequentially, which allows for a total of however, fast results. work there sometimes "From reading only one Neuron, one would receive very few information from the brain and the very slow," says Matt. "As if you were waiting for a telegram." The key to success is to register by BCI, the information from many neurons simultaneously or to send information to them. Theoretically, it has long been known. The practical implementation is still at the beginning.

robotic arms or avatars in Games by BCI control

With the Utah Arrays of the American company Blackrock Microsystems, one of the current BCIs, could be achieved in the past years, some of the "incredible" achievements, like Matt says. Already in 2014, a paraplegic woman was able to control a robotic arm by the power of thought. The paralyzed Gamer and YouTuber Nathan Copeland controls avatars in Games such as Final Fantasy . He can even feel when someone touches his robotic arm. For example, the former US-President Barack Obama, he was welcomed at a Meeting of 2016, via fist Bump.

Four of the Utah Arrays were implanted Nathan Copeland to the brain. The tiles are tiny Silicone of which each of 100 micro-electrodes, such as small spines protrude. This register electrical signals of the neurons in the brain, so thoughts and direct them via cable to two small boxes, which are mounted on a Nathan's skull. From there, the signals on other cables go into a Computer. Can you interpret and recognize, for example, if Nathan wants to bale the robot hand into a fist. Conversely, signals are sent back, when the Hand is touched.

However, the implants have disadvantages, such as Nathan made last year in an Interview with clear. Their life span is limited, so you need to be explanted out of his brain. On the other hand, the actions he can perform by the power of thought is limited, because each Array has 100 electrodes – compared to what Thousands or even millions of neurons, may be involved in a thought, is little. "Basically, you have more electrodes, you can read the more neurons, so that more demanding tasks would probably be possible," he said. "I can only think about my right Arm and my right Hand."

From research equipment to medical products are

For exactly these Worries Matt Angle to deliver the solution. He compares the development of BCIs with the development of Modems for Internet access. "You are finally Modems for the brain," he says. Even the early Internet Modems had only rate a very low data. Downloads and Uploads took forever. "So you could only exchange simple texts," says Matt. "But then the band were wider, and suddenly there were images on web pages, then unleashed Videos, Webcams were low-and now we have Netflix."

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If it were possible to bring significantly more electrodes into the brain, could be no repeat of the Internet revolution for BCIs, says the founder. Then the large data streams of high-definition cameras flash made fast to the brain, and the Blind could see. Instead of just a robotic arm for paralyzed people could control an entire exoskeleton, and free and independent, to move. Using computers could talk to people again liquid.

technology could says hundreds of thousands of people

In Paradromics, are implanted in it, to bring different technologies together, which have been proven in research to develop a mass-market brain-Computer interface, the hundreds of thousands of people could be used. The aim of BCIs as a genuine medical products are, not only as a test device. "We bring out a System that allows a significantly higher data rate, from the materials is made, which can stay much longer in the body, and not at all bulky," he promises.

The BCI of his company is to consist of Thousands of platinum-Iridium micro-wires that are five times can be as thin as a human hair, and the spikes in the brain's neural signals. They run together in a circuit Board, which is placed in the skull on the surface of the brain – and not should be greater than a headache tablet. Already there, the data is processed stream and a communication unit, which is implanted in the chest. From there a cable runs to the outside to a Computer.

Still only a prototype exists, but Paradromics, can already point to initial successes. Currently, it is the Start-up claims to be the most comprehensive electrical measurement of the brain activities managed. With more than 30,000 electrodes, the developer was able to follow the team very closely with which brain activity in the cerebral cortex of a sheep reacted to auditory stimuli.

2023 of the first Patient, the Paradromics-BCI used

In three years, get to use Paradromics be BCI for the first Time to a human for therapeutic purposes The first application should cross to help paralyzed patients, who can neither talk nor touch, cut it to communicate again. After that, the technology could also be used to Affected your mobility back by being able to control robot arms, Exoskeletons, or wheelchairs, or to support prostheses.

So Paradromics explains its technology.

with regard to the future of the whole industry, said Matt Angle believes that there will be up to the middle of the decade, especially Tests and clinical studies – and that it could be from the end of the decade, the first series of products. "By the 2030s, the Situation completely changed," he says. Then also blind or deaf people could benefit, because the data from cameras or audio sensors into the brain can be transferred.

For Matt however, it is clear that the first therapeutic applications are the focus. That's why he does not want to speak to Elon Musk, whose company Neuralink is also working on BCIs, just that with the technology people with Artificial intelligences or databases may be combined. "I'm not a proponent of brain-Computer interfaces for people who have no medical need," says Matt. "It is, finally, a medical technology, a brain operation is necessary. And the is always connected with a risk.“ One of those sentences that could sound in the Silicon Valley, maybe a bit boring, but nevertheless convincing.

This article was written by Wolfgang Kerler

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*The post "This brain-Computer interface to Go paralyzed people, See, and Speak help," published by 1E9. Contact with the executives here.

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Updated Date: 06 August 2020, 10:27

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