Monkey think, robotic arm do

From Times Wire Reports

Using only its brainpower, a monkey can direct a robotic arm to pluck a marshmallow from a skewer and stuff it into its mouth, U.S. researchers said.

Andrew Schwartz of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, whose study will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Nature, said the technology behind this feat may lead to brain-powered prosthetic limbs for people with spinal cord injuries or disabling diseases that make such simple tasks impossible.

Until now, such brain-machine interfaces have been used to control cursor movements on a computer screen. Schwartz and colleagues wanted to apply the technology to real-world tasks.

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