We have been hearing all about goal line technology and how we may see other new technologies emerge, often showcased at the premier level that is the World Cup in 2014. However, in one of my most recent neuroscience classes, we discussed a Duke researcher, Miguel Nicolelis, who works in Brazil and seeks to have a different effect on the technology of the World Cup of 2014. Nicolelis is spearheading research in brain-machine interfaces, where machines will interpret action within the brain to produce that same function. Where we often see this applied is at the intersection of helping those who are paralyzed regain function and where many people see scientists building robots.
However, come 2014, Nicolelis hopes to have the first kick of the global tournament be from the foot of a paralyzed child, who will be using this robotic exoskeleton to essentially regain function in his legs and take the first kick. More about Nicolelis and this endeavor can be read here. Who knows, this could just be the first step on the way to a robotic team of players competing against a human team by 2050.