“Probably the most famous piece of research undertaken by Warwick (and the origin of the nickname, “Captain Cyborg”, given to him by The Register) is the set of experiments known as Project Cyborg, in which he had an array implanted into his arm, with the aim of “becoming a cyborg“.
The first stage of this research, which began on 24 August 1998, involved a simple RFID transmitter being implanted beneath Warwick’s skin, which was used to control doors, lights, heaters, and other computer-controlled devices based on his proximity. The main purpose of this experiment was said to be to test the limits of what the body would accept, and how easy it would be to receive a meaningful signal from the chip.
The second stage involved a more complex neural interface which was designed and built especially for the experiment by Dr. Mark Gasson and his team at the University of Reading. This device consisted of a BrainGate electrode array, connected to an external “gauntlet” that housed supporting electronics. It was implanted on 14 March 2002, in the Radcliffe Infirmary and was interfaced directly into Warwick’s nervous system. The electrode array inserted contained 100 electrodes, of which 25 could be accessed at any one time, whereas the median nerve which it monitored carries many times that number of signals. The experiment proved successful, and the signal produced was detailed enough that a robot arm developed by Warwick’s colleague, Dr Peter Kyberd, was able to mimic the actions of Warwick’s own arm.
By means of the implant, Warwick’s nervous system was connected onto the internet in Columbia University, New York. From there he was able to control the robot arm in the University of Reading and to obtain feedback from sensors in the finger tips. He also successfully connected ultrasonic sensors on a baseball cap and experienced a form of extra sensory input.
A highly publicised extension to the experiment, in which a simpler array was implanted into the arm of Warwick’s wife—with the ultimate aim of one day creating a form of telepathy or empathy using the Internet to communicate the signal from afar—was also successful in-so-far as it resulted in the first direct and purely electronic communication between the nervous systems of two humans. Finally, the effect of the implant on Warwick’s hand function was measured using the University of Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure (SHAP). It was feared that directly interfacing with the nervous system might cause some form of damage or interference, but no measurable effect nor rejection was found. Indeed, nerve tissue was seen to grow around the electrode array, enclosing the sensor.”
Quoted from Wikipedia: