VIDEO: Monkey Controls Robotic Arm With Mind. Beware Of Robot Monkeys.

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The monkey in the video has a chip in its brain that controls a robotic arm. He uses the arm to feed himself a piece of yellow food. Probably a banana. What’s in the deleted scenes? The outtakes of the monkey smacking himself in the head with robotic arm. -HENRY

Someone from the lab just left a comment …

I actually work in this lab currently, it was odd to see video from my own lab on BoingBoing. That was a reenactment in the sense that they replayed previous brain-control recordings through the arm, but the original movement was performed live. To see videos of it working in real time, go to – go to “multimedia”

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Posted by   @   20 February 2007 34 comments
Feb 21, 2007
8:40 am
#1 dthomas :

The first time we see the monkey, the word “Reenactment” appears on the screen. This says to me that the video that was aired is a fake. Not that the concept or the equipment is fake, just that we are not actually watching a monkey actually controlling an actual robotic arm. Which is kind of a nasty tease.

Feb 21, 2007
1:46 pm
#2 Tarditi :

I, for one, welcome our robotic monkey overlords…

Feb 21, 2007
3:13 pm
#3 slamNo7 :

I actually work in this lab currently, it was odd to see video from my own lab on BoingBoing. That was a reenactment in the sense that they replayed previous brain-control recordings through the arm, but the original movement was performed live. To see videos of it working in real time, go to – go to “multimedia”

Feb 21, 2007
5:48 pm
#4 Webbster :

This is beyond disturbing and very very sick.
Take this off your site, this is not random good stuff. It is animal abuse.

Feb 21, 2007
10:31 pm
#5 Anonymous Coward :

can we do this to dogs, too? i’d like a dog that would bring me a beer with his robot arm. that would be sweet.

Feb 21, 2007
11:28 pm
#6 L.T. :

Webbster, you grandstanding moron, it’s not like they lopped the monkey’s real arms off to do this experiment. Projects like this could lead to greater independence and higher quality of life for thousands of amputees. I call that good stuff.

Feb 21, 2007
11:46 pm
#7 Cletus :

Webbster! Please STFU and go whine somewhere else. If you’re limbs didn’t work you’d be hailing these scientists as gods. Piss off loser.

Feb 21, 2007
11:54 pm
#8 Jah :

In full agreement with last comment
“Take this off your site, this is not random good stuff. It is animal abuse.”

Feb 22, 2007
12:41 am

I would attach an extra 4 arms to myself and climb buildings like Doctor Octopus.

Feb 22, 2007
2:08 am
#10 a :

Amazing development, but I do wonder why they computer animated this video instead of showing the actual monkey and arm.

Feb 22, 2007
2:20 am
#11 Dan :

yeah, great. robot monkeys. are they going to be trained to fight PIRATE NINJAS under the tutelage of ZOMBIE CHUCK NORRIS?

tired ironic humor. and yes, this is animal abuse.

Feb 22, 2007
6:04 am

It is animal abuse. The “monkey” didn’t volunteer to have wires inserted into its cerebral matter.

And as far as helping amputees, the results would be more reliable and productive if human volunteer amputees were the subjects for testing.


Feb 22, 2007
9:46 am
#13 John :

Just because the monkeys cannot consent does not make this animal abuse. It’s a practical means to a greater good. Studying these animals can lead to much progress in human research. They are performing these kinds of experiments on epilepsy patients at UW research at Harborview in Seattle. Though at this stage of research, human subjects tend to be impractical due to costs and regulations for invasive surgeries, as well as the fact that these human subjects are generally undergoing another form of treatment that requires time away from the neurobotics researchers. Duration is critical to generating patterns of brain activity necessary for analyzing and correlating specific brain and motor functions.

Feb 22, 2007
2:47 pm
#14 Richard George :

Work like this will lead to treatment and relief from disabilities that we can’t offer much for today.

that monkey doesn’t look hugely distressed. It might be unpleasant to be shut in a box, but the animal is able to deal with what’s happening to it and concentrate, otherwise it would not be able to work the arm.

Feb 23, 2007
2:36 am
#15 fuzzyslippers :

You look at a quadlapegic and tell me that they shouldn’t be doing this. This is GOOD science, and if you think that inconveniencing a monkey is not worth the developments, then go to hell.

Mar 2, 2007
7:10 am


No – seriously, dry it up.

Older drugs from Bayer? Tested on those in concentration camps. The vaccinations that virtually wiped out Polio? Tested on animals. Most epic achievements in experimental medical science? Tested. On. Animals.

So what’s the common thread here? Oh, it’s the part where the scientific process is brought full circle by testing the hypothesis. The fact that a bunch of people who obviously do not understand the scientific process are whining… well, frankly – it makes it just a little more fun to test that hypothesis.

Oh, hey – is that steak? Hot like Ebola.

Mar 5, 2007
3:24 am
#17 ashabot :

Abominable science. If the research is of such value to humans then humans should volunteer to be experimental subjects.

Mar 8, 2007
1:49 am
#18 mustard :

“Helps Humans” and “abominably unethical” are not mutually exclusive

Mar 12, 2007
4:11 am
#19 afs :

that animal should be running around a jungle somewhere, not stuck in a box.

Mar 18, 2007
2:50 pm
#20 Bob :

Regarding all the people whining:
1) there are no wires attached to the monkey, just a microchip that should have little to no effect on the monkey. You’d know that if you read what was happening before opening your big mouth.

2) those of you complaining that ‘the monkey should be living in the jungle etc etc etc’… i have a few things to ask you:

do you eat beef? any meats? i hereby claim that YOU are commiting animal abuse.

also, you have a computer and access to the internet. what do you think is powering it? mostly fossil fuels. coming from where? your so called jungle is one interesting source. you are doing more harm to monkeys than was done to this monkey in this harmelss experiment.

note that i am not saying cut down the jungle and commit animal abuse, just that you are a whining short-arse and this is not animal abuse.

Unfortunately, people like you whiners do not think and tend not to listen either. Hence most of you will just skim past this explanation and learn nothing. well done.

Mar 18, 2007
2:58 pm
#21 P.D :

“abominable science” “horrible science” “test on humans” “its inhuman”
aw shut up
this country’s gotten worse and worse regarding the advancement of the sciences yeah you feel bad about a monkey with an implanted chip on his brain but what about the 7 yr old kid who lost use of his arms thanks to a drunken driver who only got 3 months in jail?
or the woman who raised her 2 kids all by herself and an accident caused her to lose an arm or a leg?
you want to test on humans? you got to get the tech as ready as possible you cant just out right test something on humans even in early stages because of dangers to those people this technology is supposed to assist.
you say its abominable science? i say you are an abomination to the ability to think and to people who use their minds, and ungrateful that your life has been made easier thanks to the advancement of the sciences.

Mar 20, 2007
7:08 pm
#22 nicesocks :

this is abusive, even if it’s supposedly for the greater good. i used to rally behind scientific advancements, but i have long since given up. why?

because the scientific advancements we often see are completely non-advancing. we make microwave guns to break up peace rallys, and those will probably be used to torture people. we make nanorobots to spy on “enemy combatants” but they can just as easily be used to spy on you. we make mood altering drugs so people can sleep better, wake up better, get on with their lives better, but we don’t promote natural forms of stress management. we make gps technology only to have chips implanted into our kids so -hopefully- someone safe can track them. but really, who is?

and now we have scientists who use monkeys to show that electronic devices can be used on brian waves alone? why didn’t we just use a human for this? if it really doesn’t harm the animal, like so many of you claim, why don’t we just use humans? there’s clearly enough of us on this planet.

but some of you then argue: why don’t you consent yourself. guess what, genius, i have the use of all my limbs. perhaps when i loose my limbs i will generously donate my body and time to getting a sweet robotic appendage. but since i don’t need one, why get one? so we then must ask, why does the monkey need one? right, she doesn’t. so perhaps she should be romping about in some jungle rather than shoved in a small plastic box with a robotic arm controlling chip in her brain.

do i eat meat? yes, i raise my own chickens and eggs. i sometimes go fishing.
do i get electricity to power my pollution machine computer? yep, i pay fifteen bucks a month extra to promote wind and solar power, rather than fossil fuels.
do i own a car? sadly yes, but i use my bike far more often than my car.

so how about those of you whining about other whiners think about how you live your life. maybe you can change to make this world a better place rather than wanting a dog who can bring you a fucking beer. get your lazy ass off the couch and get one yourself. or make a machine that will not noly chill your beer, but toss it your way.

so yes, this does have benefits. but you really should be asking yourselves, who’s funding this project? follow the money and you’ll learn more about the ethical implications of this project, and what exactly it holds for our future.

Apr 11, 2007
9:23 pm
#23 Roboboy :

So, Question:

All of you who call this ‘abusive’ and ‘a horrible misuse of testing on animals’ and say ‘dont use animals, we have enough humans’…

Go volunteer yourself!!!

Stand in front of that science lab and say ‘Ill do it for the greater good to help my fellow man’.

But no, you sit at your computer and complain why and why not we should or should not be using animals as test subjects.

Sum up: Stop being lazy and go do something about it, and if you dont volunteer yourself to be in ‘the monkeys shoes’, then please stop bugging those who are doing these tests. (BTW, i am neither pro or con for use of animals in tests, although I dont like to see animals in pain, I do eat steak, mutton, and other meats, therefore my standpoint on animal abuse is neither here nor there. I am merely telling those who wish to complain to put themselves in the testing apparatus, and stop being ‘lazy protesters’)

And imagine how a 21 year old guy (my brother) who lost his left arm and his right hand (car accident) would feel to hold his niece, and I’m all for helping people have what they lost.

Aug 8, 2007
12:56 am
#24 mech :

Hey man the junlges are a dangerous place too. I bet monkey
life is not always full of joy in the wild. One mistake in the jungle can be horrored to the little guys too. They could be eaten by a large snake or attacked by whatever.
I don’tlike testing like the Convence did, but why can’t the guys that complain voleeter. Cowards big COWARDS.

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