Elon Musk shared details about the device he called Neuralink with a conference he held at night, according to our time zone. Neuralink, a device that can be placed in the body, will be able to solve specific problems related to brain and spinal cord function, Musk said.
Unlike many prototypes in a similar concept that we have seen in recent years, Neuralink, which has the character of an implant, is fully inserted into the recipient’s body, making it work in secret from the outside world. But before such a device comes on the market, it needs to be made by talented people to really work and do business.
In his presentation, Musk says people will encounter various brain or spinal cord problems at some point in their lives. He also listed various examples of problems that Neuralink will eventually find a cure for. These included stroke, stroke, blindness, loss of hearing, as well as more general problems such as anxiety and depression.
An implantable device can actually solve these problems; many people are not fully aware of it. All your senses, seeing, hearing, feeling, pain – these are all electrical signals sent to your brain by neurons. And if you can fix those signals, you can fix everything from hearing loss [to other problems listed above and more].
In its current form, implanted brain devices are coarse and contain boxes and wires coming out of the person’s head. This not only causes discomfort, but also carries a risk of infection. Musk envisions a Neuralink, the opposite of existing systems, saying, “We want to radically improve it to a large extent.”he says.
Neuralink is working to simplify the implantable device. In its original form, the device had a small component located behind the patient’s ear, called a “connection.” This has been reduced to a link that is the size of a coin and stands inside the patient’s skull, not visible in the study outside. The presentation included an image of the concept in its current form (below).
“Obviously, to simplify it, [the connection] is in many ways like a Fitbit that connects to the skull with small wires,” Musk explained, adding that he may have had one implanted in his own head right now, and no one can say it happened.
The Neuralink team currently uses Link prototype version 0.9, which includes 1024 channels per connection, megabit wireless data rate, all-day battery life, an invisible design, and also various sensors for things like pressure and temperature. Many of these components consist of more fun things like playing music, as well as tracks found in smartwatches used to monitor the user’s health.
Charging is inductive, meaning charging using a magnetic charger similar to those used in existing smartwatches. The concept envisions a process that allows implantation to be performed in less than an hour without general anesthesia and uses a special robot. Musk says patients can leave the hospital the day they receive the implant.
According to Musk, the implant robot performs the surgery and inserts electrodes, making the surgery very precise and mostly automated. The presentation included a sample of the robot designed by Woke Studios, an industrial design partner working with Neuralink.
The Robot will ideally perform the entire operation, including cutting the skin, removing the skull fragment, inserting electrodes and then gluing the incision. The Robot was also used as part of the development process. The presentation included a slightly gruesome medical image of electrodes inserted into the brain, and it was also noted that careful placement meant the brain did not bleed. “There will be no noticeable nerve damage when you insert the link, ” Musk said.” said.
For the time being, Neuralink is looking for abilities that will help greatly build brain connectivity. A video of Musk’s presentation also shows job ads on the website, and those interested can apply here.