The Human Brain Project, an ambitious undertaking to better understand the human brain, has officially kicked off. The goal of the project is to use a super computer to simulate a complete human brain, something that will not only aid in the treatment of a variety of ailments, but will also be used to help create new computing technologies. One of the areas of focus is neurorobotics.
If all goes as planned, the scientists involved will create the most accurate simulation of the human brain ever developed. The work is being done by 130 research institutions, with the entire project being coordinated by the Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne, more commonly called the EFPL. For the next 30 months, the various platforms will be tested, opening up to researchers working under the Human Brain Project globally in 2016.
There are six platforms that are being focused on: brain simulation, neuroinformatics, medical informatics, high-performance computing, neuromorphic computing, and neurorobotics. Each platform has its own objectives that it will need to meet, and each section will focus on its own implementation of data received, eventually forming a cohesive whole.
The neurorobitics platform, in particular, will work on taking the simulated neural networks and implementing them into robots, starting with virtual ones and working to physical constructs. With such a project, the information gathered and assembled could eventually lead to, for example, microchips tasked with certain functions it is equipped to handle via imitating specific neural network functions.