Elon Musk’s Neuralink Shares More About Its Implantable Brain Stimulator
Elon Musk’s Neuralink Shares More About Its Implantable Brain Stimulator

Neuralink, one of Elon Musk’s newest ventures, was founded in 2016 but little has been known about the startup other than that it would somehow actualize Musk’s vision of a revolutionary implantable brain device. During a webcast last week, Musk and his team unveiled a bit more about what the company has been up to, including a live demo involving a trio of pigs.

The Neuralink implant, known as the “Link,” is essentially a miniaturized version of a deep brain stimulator. It’s a coin-sized device with a bundle of tiny wires, each five times thinner than a strand of human hair, protruding from it. The wires are meant to be embedded in the cortical surface of the brain, able to record continuously record 1024 channels of neural signals at the same time. The Link contains an inductively-rechargeable battery that lasts all day, a 6-axis inertial measurement unit to track head position and movement, additional sensors to measure things like temperature and pressure, and a Bluetooth Low Energy antenna to connect the implant with an app on the wearer’s smartphone.

Musk described the Link as a “Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires” and frequently alluded to terminology associated with computers.

Unlike most existing deep brain stimulation devices, which are implanted near the chest and rely on electrode leads to reach the brain, the Link is placed through the skull. Musk claims that the device could be implanted in less than an hour in an outpatient setting without the need for general anesthesia. And because of the less-invasive nature of the device, it could potentially be removed or “upgraded” easily. Read more…

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