US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded $20 million contract to Gaurav Sharma from Battelle, to develop a high-performance, bi-directional brain-machine interfaces that will allow a soldier to put on a helmet and use his or her thoughts alone to control multiple unmanned vehicles or a bomb disposal robot.
Gaurav Sharma, Senior Research Scientist, Battelle, and his team is among six teams who will be working on the brain-machine interfaces. He is currently working on the concept for a minimally invasive neural interface system which involves the development of a novel nanotransducer that could be temporarily introduced into the body via injection and then directed to a specific area of the brain to help complete a task through communication with a helmet-based transceiver. This system has been named BrainSTORMS (Brain System to Transmit Or Receive Magnetoelectric Signals).
“This is one of the most exciting and challenging projects I have worked on,” said Sharma. “With BrainSTORMS, we will again be pushing the limits engineering and physics. If successful, this technology would not only provide a safe and efficient way to facilitate human-machine interactions but also has the potential to revolutionize the study of the nervous system.”
Battelle recently began the first phase of the program with $2 million in funding from DARPA to demonstrate the core concept of the technology. Battelle will receive additional funding for the second and third phases of the program. The full contract is worth approximately $20 million over four years for the Battelle team.
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