While science was the focus at Elon Musk The presentation on Neuralink, its inference company for computers in the human brain, the surgical robot with which the company debuted, caused a sensation. The rounded polycarbonate sci-fi design of the brain surgeon bot looks like something out of the portal franchise, but is actually the creation of Vancouver-based industrial design firm Woke Studio. To be clear, Musk's engineers and scientists developed the underlying technology, but Woke developed the look and user experience of the robot, as well as the behind-the-ear communication tip that Neuralink has shown in previous presentations.
Neural links The bot features clean white (required to ensure sterility per woke), arc lines, and smooth surfaces for a look that instantly highlights its advanced technical capabilities, but also has some comforting and more accessible elements in it, which makes sense given the machine's intended to do.
"While the patient may not be awake to see the machine in action, it was nonetheless important to develop a non-intimidating robot that could aesthetically live alongside the iconic machines in Musk's portfolio," the company said in a press release. "It also had to meet a long list of medical requirements for sterility and maintenance, and be safe and seamless for its operators to use."
Woke says the Neuralink surgical robot can be broken down into three main parts: the head, the body, and the base. The robot's head is the helmet-like piece that actually holds the patient's head. It also includes instructions for the surgical needle, as well as embedded cameras and sensors for mapping the patent's brain. The intent of designing this piece, which includes a mint colored interior, is to give the robot an "anthropomorphic quality" that helps detract from the invasive nature of the procedure. There are also single-use, single-use bags that line the inside of the helmet for sterile use.
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The Neuralink robot also has a “body” that pulls together the rear assembly, which contains all of the parts responsible for moving the robot when it lifts off from engagement. The third element is the base, which basically prevents the whole thing from tipping over, and which apparently also contains the computer brain of the brain-bot itself.
Neuralink is a company founded by Elon Musk that seeks to tone down what Musk sees as a potential existential threat to human life: the rise of general artificial intelligence. While his short-term goals are to treat the disorders caused by brain tissue damage, Musk ultimately hopes that Neuralink can help people keep up with advanced AI by providing them with a latency-free, high-bandwidth, direct connection to theirs Computers – with direct thought input.