Researchers at Duke University have teamed up with the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International in Kyoto to get a monkey's brain to control a pair of robot legs through the internet. By mapping the monkey's brain signals while walking (through electrode measurements), Duke researchers were able to pinpoint the activation areas to specific leg movements. Hooking up through the internet, the two teams were able to share these monkey brain walking signals—for lack of a better term—in real time, streaming the neural impulses halfway across the world to a pair of robot legs that were programmed with corresponding movements.
While researchers have been doing similar studies since 2000, giving monkeys control of robot legs (as opposed to what seems to be some more simple arm motions) is a breakthrough in the inevitable monkeys-teaming-with-robots for human overthrow scenario or just the dominance of an advanced mechanical intelligence sure to thieve all man's bananas without mercy. [newscientist and image]