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Elon Musk's Neuralink Implants Brain Chip In a Human For The First Time: All You Need To Know

The implant called 'Telepathy' will allow people to control phones or computers using their thoughts
Elon Musk and the Neuralink Future | Wikimedia Commons | Photo by Steve Jurvetson
Elon Musk and the Neuralink Future | Wikimedia Commons | Photo by Steve Jurvetson

Elon Musk has revealed that his neurotech start-up Neuralink has implanted its device in a human for the first time. After the procedure, which took place on Sunday, the patient is said to be “recovering well,” the billionaire said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. According to the announcement, the initial results detected promising neuron spikes or nerve impulses. The device implanted has been dubbed as “Telepathy” and the company says its goal is to tackle complex neurological conditions.


It is a major milestone for the Prime study of the startup, which is a trial for its wireless brain-computer interface (BCI). It aims to evaluate the safety of the implant and the surgical robot which performs the procedure.


The clearance for human trials was given by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to Neuralink last year. Precision Neuroscience, which is one of Neuralink’s competitors, implanted its device in a human for the first time last year.

According to the company’s website, the implant is called a brain-computer interface (BCI). It is cosmetically invisible, and its primary function is to let the host control a computer or a mobile device just with their thoughts, hands-free, on the go. The implant is hermetically sealed in a biocompatible enclosure which the company claims can withstand physiological conditions that are several times harsher than those in the human body.

Neuralink had previously stated that it is building a brain implant called the Link to help patients, including those with severe paralysis, use external technologies. However, on Monday, Musk announced that the product that was implanted is called ‘Telepathy’ and it is not clear if it is a new device or a new name for the previously announced device.


The N1 Implant, which is speculated to be similar to ‘Telepathy’, mentioned on the website is powered by a small battery that is charged wirelessly from the outside via a compact, inductive charger.

Further, the website says that the implant records neural activity through 1024 electrodes distributed across 64 highly flexible, ultra-thin threads which are key to minimizing damage during implantation.


The company says that the threads of the implant are so fine that they can't be inserted by the human hand. Thus, it has developed a special surgical robot that has been designed to insert the threads where they need to be with precision and efficiency.


The robot has camera systems, sensors, an optical coherence tomography (OCT) system, and a needle that is thinner than human hair to grasp, insert, and release the threads.

Neuralink previously stated that its initial goal is to enable people to control a computer cursor or keyboard using their thoughts alone. The website further says that the company’s ultimate goal is to restore the independence of people and improve lives.

As for Telepathy, Musk said that it would allow people to control their phones or computers and any other device through those, using their thoughts only.

“Initial users will be those who have lost the use of their limbs,” Musk wrote on X. “Imagine if Stephen Hawking could communicate faster than a speed typist or auctioneer. That is the goal,” he added.


People who are interested in taking part in the trials may qualify for current and/or future Neuralink clinical trials by joining their Patient Registry, available on the website.

The company was founded by Musk in 2016 and is backed by more than 30 investors, including PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, according to Reuters.

Since its inception, the company has faced several accusations for its animal testing policies and more. Reuters previously reported that a whistleblower had revealed the company’s maltreatment of some of the monkeys it used in its experiments. However, the Agriculture Department later said that it did not find any violations in its investigation last year.


As per another report, Neuralink was fined for violating US Department of Transportation (DoT) rules regarding the movement of hazardous materials.