Biohacking : I Want My BCI (Brain Computer Interface)
Last summer, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), awarded $65 million dollars to five research organizations and one private company. The expectation is that these groups will be advancing the science of brain computing interfaces. This program will attempt to produce tools and techniques to increase data capture from the brain as well as stimulate specific areas.
The focus of the program is development of advanced neural interfaces that provide high signal resolution, speed, and volume data transfer between the brain and electronics, serving as a translator for the electrochemical language used by neurons in the brain and the ones and zeros that constitute the language of information technology.
Taking a closer look we can see that four of the research centers are working on the brains visual system and the remaining two will be focused on either the auditory system or data transfer.
Here is a summary of the top three projects which received the bulk of the NESD awards:
Brown Universities Nurmikko Lab was awarded up to $19 million to develop a implantable neural prosthetic made of thousands of wireless “neurograins”. This group is working on creating a “cortical intranet” with each neurgrain operating independently.
The company Paradromics picked up an $18 million dollar contract with DARPAs NESD program. The company is working to create a massively parallel interface for the human brain. This high-volume digital connection would be able to process the 24GB/s our brain is normally producing through their custom parallel interface and data compression.
Ken Shepard’s team at Columbia scored $15.8 million as part of the DARPA NESD grant. They are using an all-electrical approach with over one million electrodes on a single chip. Their device is designed to record and stimulate the sensory cortex.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.