Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Probably not with this tech. This tech is integrating with your nerves and slowly training it to interpret signals from your brain, and I think vice versa. That won’t ever apply to casually worn appendages.

So what could be done? Probably an indirect method would work better. Use existing motor controls (maybe finger gestures?) and an eye tracker to direct your doctor octopus arms (for which power and weight will be primary concerns).

We won’t get sensory feedback properly, but you might imagine having a single external device which channels some sort of sensory trick to 80/20 it.

When will this arrive? Wearable arms probably don’t have a market, but the control scheme and sensory feedback are going to be top of mind for VR / AR hardware devs I would think

I believe brain is fully capable to adapt to a one more hand or two. Maybe even sentient hands. All you need is to place electrodes into brain itself. Or maybe somewhere in a brainstem, I'm not an expert in this things, but I think it is possible.

It would be nice, I would be able to type on keyboard and drink tea with cookies without stopping. But there is mouse here... So I need three additional arms. Not like mine, with less strength but with thinnier fingers and a finer precision. If it possible then without a tremor. And an eye on each palm, for I could to see things really closely.

We can put electrodes in the brain to do this, but they move around too much and will eventually destroy the brain tissue.

The movement isn’t the issue, they’re well secured. The problem is that the electrodes are slowly attacked by immune responses and over time the tissue around it becomes sclerotic, and the electrodes stop working. Various potential solutions are being explored, such as growing specialized neurons with extremely long axons to use as the final interface. It’s still an unsolved problem through.

I wonder whether the immune system would learn that the electrode is not something to attack if you implant it prenatally, or shortly after birth.

I don’t know if the immune system could be trained that way, but it’s an interesting idea. Unfortunately one issue I can think of is that the same period you describe is both formative for the immune system (good for our purposes) and also the period of rapid growth of the brain (not so good). Even if the immune system could be trained during that time, the electrodes would still move relative to their intended targets.

There’s also the issue a lot of these surgeries involve feedback from a conscious patient, and that’s obviously impossible with a newborn.

So there is an /r/writingPrompts if ive ever heard one: “prenatal cyber implants augmented your abilities - but have stunted your Humanity in what ways?”

Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact