Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm Jealous of the Monkeys

I'm not making this up - a monkey has been trained to control a robot with his mind.

A laboratory in Pittsburg has planted a microchip in the monkey's brain which lets him control a robotic arm with his thoughts; he has learned to pick things up and turn handles.

Look at the scowl on his face. We haven't just given awesome robot wielding power to a monkey - we gave this power to an evil monkey! (Also, I'm pretty sure that monkey can talk in a British accent and has command over legions of henchmen.)

But, that's not all. I recently discovered that this little fellow isn't the only robot controlling monkey in the world. A monkey named Idoya has been trained to control a robot halfway around the world with its thoughts. When Idoya, who resides in the U.S., thinks about walking a robot in Japan walks around. Idoya has been so well trained that she can simply watch the robot on a screen and make it do as she wishes without any help from her trainers.

These experiments have interesting potential for helping the paralyzed to walk by fitting them with robotic implants. Very cool. Until then, the monkeys get to have all of the fun. Let's see, that's two monkeys, today, who can control powerful robots and I can't control my can opener. Can I have a chip in my head? When do I get to use my mind powers to force robots to do my bidding? That's almost as cool as having grad students follow me around. (Hmm, I might be the first Christian to ask someone to put a chip in their head. What kind of a website is this?)

"Ooh, I've got an idea, let's fit the human with a microchip and see if he can control robots!"

And, in one more piece of monkey-related news, monkeys have even been trained to recognize bad grammar - which means that, even if I can't have mind-control over a robot, I can at least have a pet monkey to proof read my blog. And, if you ever told someone that their YouTube comment could have been written better by a chimp - you were right.

The world's most frightening grammar nazi. You're looking at the end of dangling participles as you know them.

1 comment:

  1. The Planet of the Apes caption is the best.

    It would be incredible to see the physically disabled enabled! On the flip side, it's scary to think we might be closer to becoming like the automated society of Wall-E.

    It's also cool that chimps and apes really are so much like humans in some regards.