Chinese scientists manage to get a monkey to control a robotic arm

The brain-computer interface used in the experiment converts electroencephalographic (EEG) signals from the monkey’s brain into control instructions, allowing it to maneuver the robotic arm and obtain food rewards.

The study, led by Professor Duan Feng and carried out in collaboration with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital (301 Hospital) and Shanghai Xinwei Medical Technology Co., Ltd, represents a continuation of previous research that included an experiment of brain-computer interface in sheep.

The statement highlights the successful recognition of EEG signals and other fundamental technologies critical to the execution of the experiment.

An accompanying image shared by the university shows the surgical procedure performed on the monkey while it is receiving the brain implant.

The sedated animal lies on a table while doctors monitor the operation on a screen.

Describing the interventional brain-computer interface developed by Professor Duan Feng’s team, the researchers explain that an interventional EEG sensor is attached to the monkey’s cerebral blood vessels by interventional surgery.

This approach allows the collection of intracranial EEG signals without the need for a craniotomy, ensuring a safe and non-invasive brain-computer interface.

The interventional EEG sensor passes through the jugular vein, enters the sagittal sinus, and reaches the motor cortex area of ​​the brain.

After the successful completion of the operation, the collected EEG signals are accurately recognized, giving the animal active control over the robotic arm.

Professor Duan Feng emphasizes that the results obtained from the interventional brain-computer interface experiment on non-human primate brains contribute to the progress of this technology from laboratory research to possible clinical applications.

He envisions the merging of medicine and industry, leading to the creation of a national brand of high-end medical equipment that could revolutionize the field of medical rehabilitation for brain diseases.