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Exclusive Q&A: World cup kickoff looms for demo of brain-controlled machine | Science


curated by | June 12, 2014

World_Cup_nicolelis

During the World Cup next week, there may be 1 minute during the opening ceremony when the boisterous stadium crowd in São Paulo falls silent: when a paraplegic young person wearing a brain-controlled, robotic exoskeleton attempts to rise from a wheelchair, walk several steps, and kick a soccer ball. The neuroscientist behind the planned event, Miguel Nicolelis, is familiar with the spotlight. His lab at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, pioneered brain-computer interfaces, using surgically implanted electrodes to read neural signals that can control robotic arms.

As his team prepares for the 12 June kick, Nicolelis gives Science a hint of the technology under the hood, and defends his decision to arrange such a conspicuous debut for a tool still in the early stages of development.

Read more by Kelly Servick on Science

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