Bionics aims at merging machine and organism. The term is generally used to describe either replacing or augmenting various body parts with machinery. The artificial organs and limbs are designed to function similarly or better than the replaced or not augmented body part. A bionic body part is an integral part of the body, be it an (extra) limb or organ, and may receive its instructions from mind-control, nerves signals or other natural mechanisms.
The field aims to understand and decode how the (human) brain functions. Developments include new methods for imaging and sensing (changes in) the way that the brain functions, including using electrodes, nanosensors, biomarkers or using (even portable, real-time) imaging technologies. Applications include understanding (causes of and interventions for) disease, development of brain-machine interfaces and brain simulation.
A BMI is a direct communication pathway between brain and external device. It can collect information from the brain, for example to derive a person’s intent to move a muscle, but also feed it to the brain, for example to replace a lost sense. The goal is to increase the speed, trustworthiness and complexity of human-machine or even human-human interactions. Development goals are to improve the in situ reading of a user’s brain activity at higher resolution, using non-invasive methods and to improve understanding of brain functions using improved remote sensing methods like fMRI.
People are able to interact with others and with machines directly from their thoughts, without errors in translation and intent. Machines are able to read the thoughts, moods and emotions of humans to a detailed degree and will adjust their behavior accordingly.