The 2014 World Cup raised the hopes of the disabled and redefined how people look at technology when a paraplegic man named Juliano Pinto, who is completely paralysed from the lower torso down, used a mind-controlled robotic exoskeleton to perfrom the ceremonial first kick.
That robotic suit, which caught the world's attntion at Sao Paulo's Corinthians Arena in June, may end up redefining how we think about humanity.
The suit is far from perfect, but it solidifies the future of the mind-machine interface, and for a coalition of researchers from around the world the project represents, "their moonshot," according to one of the leading figures in mind-machine technology, Dr. Miguel Nicolelis.
Nicolelis is at the forefront of this technology, and in addition to assisting the disabled, his studies have shown us the possibilities and potential futures of how the tech could be used to change transportation, communication and beyond.
He posits his revolutionary ideas in his 2011 book, "Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines--and How it will Change Our Lives."
His research experiments with primates have shown great promise. He talked a little about the exoskeleton on The Daily Show with John Stewart, while joking about not creating an army of suit-wearing monkeys.
- Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, director of the Nicolelis Lab at Duke University Medical Center