Friday, 27 September 2019

British Captain Cyborg with implanted chips to visit Prague

ČTK |
24 July 2018

Prague, July 23 (CTK) - British scientist Kevin Warwick, dubbed Captain Cyborg, who carries out technological experiments on his own body, will arrive in the Czech Republic to attend the the Future Port Prague festival in September, the organisers said in a press release on Monday.

Warwick, 64, professor of cybernetics at the University of Reading, gained his nickname after he became the first man in the world to experience a cybernetically interconnected organism in 1998.

Warwick is known for his studies on direct interfaces between computer systems and the human nervous system, and he has also done research concerning robotics. His research opens not only technological, but also ethical questions, the organisers said.

His wife Irena, who comes from the Czech Republic, also participated in one of Warwick's experiments.

Warwick underwent the first modification of his body 20 years ago when he had a simple Radio-frequency identification (RFID) transmitter implanted beneath his skin, which was used to control doors, lights, heaters and other computer-controlled devices based on his proximity.

The second stage from 2002 involved a more complex neural interface. The device, which was designed and built especially for the experiment, consisted of a BrainGate electrode array, connected to an external "gauntlet" that housed supporting electronics.

"The devise was directly interconnected with Warwick's nervous system and thanks to it, this system was connected onto the Internet in Columbia University, New York. From there he was able to control the robot arm in the University of Reading and to obtain feedback from sensors in the finger tips," Klara Lausova Kazelle said, on behalf of the Future Port Prague organisers.

By this experiment, Warwick proved that people who had lost their limbs could control their prostheses with the aid of magnetic implants.

In the further phase of his experiments, Warwick wanted to find out whether a certain level of telepathy or empathy can be achieved between people on this basis.

His wife had a chip implanted in her body and the signal between them was transmitted on the Internet.

The testing was successful and the Warwicks became the first people with a direct and full electronic communication between their neural systems working, the organisers said.

The interconnection between a human organism and a device will be one of the topics of this year's Future Port Prague festival. However, it will also focus on artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies and blockchain, energy future, transport as well as ethical issues connected with the development of technologies.

The two-day festival will be held in the Holesovice marketplace complex on September 6-7.

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