After Elon Musk demonstrated his startup Neuralink’s brain link device working in a pig named Gertrude, but the surgical robot the company debuted is of the same importance.
The rounded, sci-fi design of the polycarbonate brain surgeon robot indeed looks quite futuristic, but the Vancouver-based industrial design firm Woke Studio is actually the one responsible for its creation. Elon Musk’s engineers and scientists created the underlying technology, but Woke built the design and user experience of the robot, as well as the final piece of behind-the-ear communication Neuralink demonstrated in previous presentations.
As mentioned above, Musk has previously demonstrated his startup Neuralink’s brain link device working in a pig, however, the robot is of at least equal importance, since it is designed to control the entire surgical process of installation. “That includes opening up the scalp, removing a portion of the skull, inserting the hundreds of ‘thread’ electrodes 6mm deep along with the accompanying chip, then closing the incision,” reports CNET.
Neuralink’s robot features clean, white, arcing lines and smooth surfaces for a look that immediately flags its advanced technical capabilities. Moreover, it contains some soothing and more approachable elements, as well, which is pretty smart, considering the very purpose of the machine and what is it intended to do.
Woke reveled that the Neuralink surgical robot can be divided into three main parts:
The first part, a robot’s head is a helmet-like piece, which actually holds the patient’s head and contains a guide for the surgical needle, as well as built-in cameras and sensors for mapping the patent brain.
The intent of the design of this piece, which includes the mint-colored interior, is to give the robot anthropomorphic characteristics, which would help with the distraction from the invasive nature of the procedure itself. Disposable bags can also be found, an they line the inside of the helmet for sterile operation.
The second element of Neuralink’s robot is a body, that humped rear assembly, which includes all the parts responsible for the movement of the robot as it sets up from the procedure.
The third element is the base, which pretty much prevents the whole thing from tipping over, and it apparently contains the computer brain of the robot brain itself.
Neuralink company explained in a press release the following: “While the patient may not be awake to see the machine in action, it was still important to design a non-intimidating robot that can aesthetically live alongside the iconic machines in Musk’s portfolio. It also needed to meet a long list of medical requirements in terms of sterility and maintenance, and provide safe and seamless utilization for its operators.”
Neuralink is a company founded by Elon Musk that wants to mitigate what Elon Musk sees as a potential existential threat to human life – the rise of general artificial intelligence.
Although its short-term goals are aimed at helping to address medical conditions caused by brain tissue damage, Musk also ultimately hopes that Neuralink will be able to help people keep up with advanced artificial intelligence, by providing them with a latency-free and direct high-bandwith concentration to their computers – using direct thought input.