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Cybathlon - the Olympics of Brain Computer Interfaces, man and machine work together

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Release Date: 09/05/2023

Shelley Fried Discusses Retinal Prostheses and Non-Contact Neuronal Stimulation show art Shelley Fried Discusses Retinal Prostheses and Non-Contact Neuronal Stimulation

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Dr. Shelley Fried is an associate professor at , the teaching hospital to Harvard Medical School. His work involves retinal prostheses and using electromagnetic fields to stimulate neurons. In this episode, he discusses these fields of research, as well as goals and challenges with each of them. Top three takeaways: The main challenge with current retinal prostheses is that the visual acuity it provides is so poor that it cannot be meaningfully used for most daily applications, so there is a need for a narrower and more specific region of stimulation within the retina. Non-contact magnetic...

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Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Dr. Robert Riener is a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. His research involves exoskeletons, brain-computer interfaces, and EEG. He is also in charge of running the in ETH Zurich, which is an Olympic-like event where patients with disabilities compete, using assistive robotic devices. In this episode, he discusses the Cybathlon, its events, and its goals and purpose. Top three takeaways: The Cybathlon is a major athletic competition where the participants use assistive robotic devices and prosthetics to compete in the events, which are centered around daily life activities. The main...

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Andrew Wilder Discusses the Projected Plans of Ripple Neuro Over the Next Decade show art Andrew Wilder Discusses the Projected Plans of Ripple Neuro Over the Next Decade

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Dr. Andrew Wilder is the CEO of , a medical device company which specializes in neural interface technology and neuroprosthetics. In this episode, he discusses how the company plans to progress in the next decade, as part of their big 10-year announcement. Top three takeaways: One big advancement that Ripple Neuro is planning to make in the next decade is to hold clinical trials for neuroprosthetic upper limbs, and obtain market clearance for these devices As far as the company itself goes, Ripple Neuro will be restructuring itself over the next decade to accommodate markets for both end...

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Kevin Tracey Discusses the Current Progress in the Field of Bioelectronic Medicine show art Kevin Tracey Discusses the Current Progress in the Field of Bioelectronic Medicine

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Dr. Kevin Tracey is the president and CEO of the . He is very well-known and well-cited for his seminal research within the field of neuromodulation, particularly as it relates to the immune response. In this episode, he discusses the current progress being made in the field of bioelectronic medicine, as well as how it compares to pharmaceutical treatments. Top three takeaways: The power in bioelectronic medicine is in the fact that rather than sending out a drug into the body and hoping it affects the target area, the target is identified and the device is designed and manufactured around...

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Phil Kennedy Discusses Being Implanted with His Own Silent-Speech Neural Recording Device show art Phil Kennedy Discusses Being Implanted with His Own Silent-Speech Neural Recording Device

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Dr. Phil Kennedy is a neurologist who has implanted patients with a neural recording device that can detect firing patterns attributed to certain words.  This device can help locked-in patients communicate with others by detecting these firing patterns and outputting words on a computer. He has also had himself implanted with this same device. In this episode, Dr. Kennedy discusses how the device works, and his experience being implanted with his own device. Top three takeaways: Silent speech works by recording neural firing patterns that occur when a patient thinks about a word many...

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Kika Tuff Explains the Power of Effective Compelling Story Telling in Science show art Kika Tuff Explains the Power of Effective Compelling Story Telling in Science

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Dr. Kika Tuff is an ecologist and science communicator who founded , an organization which consists of scientists who seek to change the world through powerful storytelling. In this episode, she discusses the power of making compelling stories to spread scientific knowledge and gain a greater audience as a scientist. Top three takeaways: Telling your story effectively can improve your credibility, and can result in an increased following, such as more students and funders for your research Science not communicated is science not done – people have to be able to fully understand what it is...

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Nathan Copeland Shares His Experiences as a Neural Implantee Using a Robotic Arm show art Nathan Copeland Shares His Experiences as a Neural Implantee Using a Robotic Arm

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Nathan Copeland is a paraplegic neural implantee who has four Blackrock Utah electrode arrays implanted in his brain. He uses a robotic arm which has a wider functionality than a regular arm, and has even fist bumped the president with it. In this episode, he discusses his experiences being implanted and how using the implants has changed his life. Top three takeaways: When Nathan Copeland met President Obama and had a fist bump with him, he realized that the president was very interested in the science involved in his implants. He was able to connect personally with the president, and this...

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Alie Caldwell Discusses Her YouTube Channel Neuro Transmissions show art Alie Caldwell Discusses Her YouTube Channel Neuro Transmissions

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Dr. Alie Caldwell, a.k.a. Alie Astrocyte, is a neuroscientist who is well-known for her YouTube channel . In this episode, she discusses the YouTube channel, how it was created, what types of videos the channel produces, how the videos are made, and what she has gained out of it. Top three takeaways: In doing this channel, Alie Caldwell has had to overcome the challenge of maintaining a good work-life balance, since this channel is not her full-time career. In academia, you are taught to feel as though you don’t know anything, which can make people feel hung up on inaccuracies; however, a...

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Announcement: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan Offer show art Announcement: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan Offer

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

We know you are facing challenging times in this current health crisis. The U.S. Small Business Administration is committed to help bring relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was...

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Daniel Powell Discusses an Auricular Nerve Stimulation Device to Treat Opioid Withdrawal show art Daniel Powell Discusses an Auricular Nerve Stimulation Device to Treat Opioid Withdrawal

Neural Implant podcast - the people behind Brain-Machine Interface revolutions

Daniel Powell is the CEO of , a medical device company based in Texas whose mission is to develop effective, wearable neurostimulation devices. In this episode, he discusses an auricular nerve stimulator to aid in the relief of opioid withdrawal both in adults and newborn infants. Top three takeaways: This auricular, transcutaneous nerve stimulator device works to alleviate opioid withdrawal by stimulating the necessary nerves to kickstart endogenous endorphin release in the brain. A major part of opioid addiction is avoiding withdrawals; opioids chemically replace endorphins and bind to...

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More Episodes

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich’s Robert Reiner was one of the key figures to
initiate the Cybathlon in 2016. The Cybathlon is a unique event in the development of every-
day assistive devices in which people living with various disabilities compete while using the
latest developments. There are six disciplines from advanced wheelchairs to FES cycling. Florian
Haufe, a PhD candidate in Dr. Reiner’s lab, fills us in a little more about this premiere event and
what the expect in the 2020 competition.

Takeaways:
1. Showcase of technology for people with disabilities in the spirit of competitive sport.
2. Competitive challenges center around tasks for people with physical impairments in
every-day life and the use of assistive technology.


[0:00] Ladan introduces the episode and joins the conversation with Florian Haufe and Jen
French at RehabWeek 2019.
[1:16] Haufe tells about how he became involved in the Cybathlon and what the event is about.
[2:09} Discussion of the different competitive disciplines at the event and the tasks in the
competition highlighted the exoskeleton discipline.
[3:31] Haufe explains the scoring technique for the disciplines.
[3:51] Haufe further describes the initial event that took place in Zurich in 2016 with
competitors from academia and industry. There were 6 disciplines and over 5000 attendees.
[5:40] What makes up the team is the pilot or end user/athlete along with a technical team that
can range from students to licensed engineers to hobbyists.
[7:10] Haufe describes the overall goal of the event. Giving people with impairments a platform
for the use of assistive devices in the spirit of competition, allow technology developers to
show what their latest inventions can do and increase public awareness are the goals of the
event.
[9:24} Here are the details about the 2020 event and how to get involved. Go to
https://cybathlon.ethz.ch/cybathlon-2020.html