Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Forget the Terminator, CYBORGs Are Our Friend!


DARPA has been working on something really awesome; in the near future they plan on creating Cyborg Soldiers. People who were concerned that the machines would take over the Earth may have been sadly mistaken. People who are part machine fighting for their superiority sounds more plausible, no?


This all started with the NESD program – DARPA’s Neural Engineering System Design research program. The whole goal here is to increase the interaction between brain neuron interactions – making the goal going from the current versions in the tens of thousands to many millions. 


The 411, in a sciencey way, are chemical secretions in our brains need to be transferred to digital code. Think of what advances we have currently made with implants that help the disabled – and we have only touched the surface of connectivity – probably less than 1%.


Probably will start as the below detailed picture:

But eventually become this:

AND as usual DARPA (this also applies to NASA when they have an advance) will be sharing this technology and its benefits with the world – in this case particularly the medical field. Patients suffering from allevels of blindness, hearing loss, missing or ‘dead’ limbs will have access to cool devices and prosthetics to make life easier.


Back to the Cyborg soldiers; these implants, when realized, will allow the Cyborg soldiers to be able to detect the enemy, read a map of the locale, and overall understand the full intentions of the actions they are providing (from protecting us from terrorists etc.) Both at home and across the world these new soldiers will protect the homeland.

More details? While the current status is that we cannot truly ‘speak’ between the brain and computer, it is because there is too much static on the line. Yes we can through an implant make a wheelchair move or a leg but to handle the overall communications necessary, we do not yet have the ability. This all will change and the neural interface will be a one-of-a-kind arrangement. As it stands the neural interfaces are more or less faulty since the data they provide the person in whose brain they are implanted is chaotic at best.

The goals the US military has begin with plans to create a chip under one cubic centimeter that can be directly implanted in the brain. Once that has been accomplished, the microchip would be able to operate as a neural interface through a process of converting electrochemical signals sent by neurons in the brain into traditional digital signals.

In addition to the detection of the enemy, a few potential pluses from this neural interface technology includeboosting the cyborg soldier’s hearing or vision by providing additional input into the brain. But the DARPA proposal has several breakthroughs in neuroscience, synthetic biology, low-power electronics and device manufacturing that must be made before the cyborg soldiers can become reality.

So although it appears that the first applications of the new neural interface technology are likely to be military, these technologies will most certainly filter down and become commercially available, just not right away. AND wouldn’t you feel better knowing that Joe Civilian’s implant has already been widely tested and used before he utilized it?

Other DARPA Projects

1. Synthetic Blood
DARPA wants to be sure there's blood where the need is. The lives that will be saved if the blood can be provided immediately...

2. Cyborg Insects
Unmanned drones are great but cyborg insects can do much that drones could not. Small and ubiquitous, cyborg insects can hide in plain sight while gaining access to areas that bigger equipment cannot get to.

3. Flying Submarines
Submersible airplanes are great because they can fly over water until they get close enough to their target and then disappear underwater to avoid detection. Applications are mostly military-related but it could be possible for flying submarines to give way to flying and underwater tours for tourists.
















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