Neuralink Corporation is a neurotechnology enterprise founded by Elon Musk. The main goal is quite challenging: developing implantable brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) to treat several brain deseases and disorders and eventually also anxiety and depression.

Company history

Neuralinkwas founded in 2016 byElon Musk, Max Hodak, Ben Rapoport, Dongjin Seo, Paul Merolla, Philip Sabes, Tim Gardner, Tim Hanson and Vanessa Tolosa, a group of specialists in fields likeneuroscience,biochemistryrobotics. The headquarters are inSan Francisco. The company went public in March 2017 and in April announced that they were working on devices totreat serious brain diseases.

In July 2019, the company reached$158 million funding(of which $100 million was from Musk) and had a staff of90 employees. At that point, the Neuralink responsibles declared they were working on a“sewing machine-like” equipmentable of implanting very tiny (4 to 6 μm in width) wires into the brain, and showed a system that gathers information from a laboratory rat via1,500 electrodes.

Neuralink Logo
Company logo.
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What is Neuralink developing?

Neuralink is developing a fully integratedbrain-machine interface(BMI)system. BMIs are technologies that allow a digital machine to communicate directly with the human brain. Through these devices, people with paralysis can control computer mouses or keyboards. There is even the possibility of writing information back into the brain, likerestoring lost senses. Neuralink project aims to build a device more powerful than those already clinically approved. The device, called theLink, might be able to record from 1024 electrodes.

Neuralink surgical robot
Neuralink surgical robot.

Company departements

The two main departments are Implant and Robotics. They are responsible for the development of Link.

  • Implant:this team is responsible for every step and action of the neural implant, from sensing the signals originating from the neurons in the brain to sending that information wirelessly to a device.
  • Robotics:the robotics team has to insert the neural implant in our patients. It is not possible by hand so a robot is necessary for this task. Neurosurgery needs to be highly precise and quick. the use of robot allows the operation to be completely automated and scalable.

Characteristics of the LINK

  • microthreadscompatible with the tissue and corrosion resistant
  • electrode materialsthat increase their surface area without increasing their size for more power stimulations
  • 减少——大小chipswith a lower power consumption
  • water-proof enclosure from biocompatible materials to adapt to the skull
  • algorithmsthat maintain reliable and robust performance while continuing to improve over time(not yet achieved)
  • a small inductivechargerwirelessly attached to the implant to charge the battery from the outside.

Neuralink app

The company is developing anIOS compatible appthat allows the user to control his devices, keyboards and others with onlybrain stimulation. This is possible with the implementation of aBluetoothconnection to the Link chip. This app isnot FDA-approvedor available yet.

Neuralink app interface
byNathan Ord
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