Six Teams Selected for DARPA Wearable Neural Interface Dev’t Project

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has chosen six multidisciplinary teams to create wearable neural interfaces as part of a project to link the human brain to military equipment.

Battelle, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Teldyne, Carnegie Mellon University, Palo Alto Research Center and Rice University will separately lead groups of developers under DARPA’s Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology program, the agency said Monday.

N3 aims to provide the U.S. military with high-resolution, bidirectional brain-machine interface systems that would allow service members to communicate with computer systems as well as manage cyber systems and swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles.

“If N3 is successful, we’ll end up with wearable neural interface systems that can communicate with the brain from a range of just a few millimeters, moving neurotechnology beyond the clinic and into practical use for national security,” said Al Emondi, N3 program manager at DARPA

Emondi added the wearable technology should not require surgery and may use optics, acoustics or electromagnetics to read neural activity or send signals between the brain and equipment.

During the program, federal regulators and independent legal and ethical experts will assist each team in the development of their concepts.

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