Technology today has become a part of our life. We can’t imagine our life without a modern mobile phone, not only because of work demands but also as an information source. Our working life has become a routine, where we find out the right information according to a variety of websites and information.
It looks like the job is not that difficult but our brain works all the time, even at night time. Even when we think we are resting or playing games or gambling at slots online Canada, our brain never stops. Perhaps in the future, we will be able to get an extra arm or even wings. Even after the brief use of a robotic finger, people begin to perceive it as part of their hand, a recent study shows. This means that the human brain seems to be able to “accept” additional parts of the body.
Neuroscience For Robots
According to the robot creators, robots often copy people. They imitate our behavior trying to figure out our actions and the mistakes we are making. In their development, the most important thing is to make it look like their creator. Robots can be different but those that are created to communicate with people are usually created with two arms, two legs, and a head. Reminds some religions about the Creator and its creation.
In addition, robots can learn from humans. A robot can perform actions in an infinite number of ways, but if it wants to imitate a human, it must observe how the human does it and try to repeat this movement. When making mistakes, he compares it with how a person performs the same action.
Probably the most promising direction for the use of robots in modern neuroscience is the design of neutral interfaces, systems for controlling external devices using brain signals. Neural Interfaces are necessary for the development and creation of exoskeletons. Exoskeletons were tested during the Iraq war on several troopers. They could lift more than 2 tons of different weights. But back then science did not have the possibility to change our body once and forever and today we are getting closer to it.
Scientists in the field of neuroscience and robotics study various options of the brain and the design of robots. There were some experiments on monkeys. Basically, the operation of the interfaces was connected directly to the brain areas. According to one of the experiments, a monkey walked along the path. It’s a brain activity that was in charge of its movement that started the activity of the robot. The more the monkey walked the more robot activity was done and a monkey could watch it on the screen. Eventually, the monkey got the feedback and could adjust its movement by watching the screen of the movements of the robot.
Such experiments were done only on animals in the most famous universities around the world.
Artificial Body Parts
Usually, artificial body parts are perceived as a replacement for the real ones. However, body augmentation need not be limited to parts obtained at birth.
To find out, artificial body parts must be controlled in the same way as biological ones – by transmitting electrical impulses from the brain to the muscles. However, in studies conducted so far, participants have had to control devices using other parts of the body. It is difficult to assess how a person perceives the addition.
The 6th Finger
The scientist from France cooperating with scientists from Japan made an experiment. There were 18 participants who wore the 6th robotic finger next to the little finger on one of their hands.
Sensors were placed on the participants’ forearms that translated electrical activity from their muscles into instructions for a robotic finger. The device could be moved both together with other fingers, and separately.
People were then asked to play video games and respond to music and visual cues by flexing and extending their fingers (real and artificial). This activity was supposed to help them get used to the extra body part.
The degree of perception of the robotic finger was assessed using questionnaires and behavioral tests. Participants were asked how they feel when using an artificial finger. Most of them answered that the 6th robotic finger was like a part of their body.
Behavioral tests were conducted both before and after the participants wore the 6th finger. During the tests, the device was not used. Their goal was to determine where people thought their little finger was when they could not see it.
Where We Are
The researchers found a relationship between participants’ scores on the questionnaire and their ability to locate their little finger after wearing the sixth finger.
The better the 6th robotic finger was perceived, the less sure the participant was about where his hand ends. This shows that the robotic finger felt like a part of the hand. A small study showed intriguing results. More extensive experiments will be required to confirm them.
Such an experiment shows that people who lost their parts of the body during wars or different accidents can obtain new ones, robotic ones. Though they don’t know how the brain will react like people who lost a part of the body can have phantom pains. Eventually, this experiment was just the beginning.
What Might Be the Future?
Such research leads us to innovative developments in the future. It would be really great if the exoskeleton could be used by people who are not able to move. Quite possible that we will soon see people who got another part of their party. Cyborg people might become a normal part of our life.
We all have watched different fantasy movies about robocop or terminators. In some decades we might see such people among us and society will accept them as a part of themselves. Interesting time we are living today. As the last example, just take a look at your mobile phone and remove it from yourself. You will realize that you lost an entrance to the world’s information device. So have we probably already become robotic humanity?