Embedded arm processors

The computer science post doc was hard up for new research ideas. So when it was suggested to him that he examine the potential risks of implanting electronic devices into human beings, he saw it as the perfect opportunity to continue his academic research for a few more years.

Rather than go through the expensive process of conducting field trials with third parties, the post doc in question decided to take a more cost-effective route. Using himself as a human guinea pig, he buried a small microprocessor-controlled RFID tag into his own arm, and then went about developing software that would allow the chip to communicate with a variety of peripheral devices in his laboratory, opening and closing doors, and communicating with his mobile phone.

With that work completed, he proceeded to write some virus software to demonstrate how easily it was to corrupt the program and data on the microprocessor, in a move that would clearly highlight to both the public and his peers the dangers of stuffing implantable microprocessor-based devices into the human body.

The researcher’s efforts certainly caught the attention of the press who considered the work so important that it was covered in almost every technical website on the internet. But despite the fact that he received many accolades for his work, I’m sorry to say that the young academic is no longer performing any research along those lines.

You see, after he had completed his thesis on the potential hazards of implantable devices, his own body’s immune system decided to attack the implanted electronic chip as it considered it foreign material and attempted to destroy it.

Too busy writing yet more virus software to pay much attention to the rejection problem that was taking place in his body, the post-docs arm became very badly infected. And, I’m horrified to say, as a result, he was eventually hospitalised, and, after a lengthy operation involving much bloodshed, the arm in question was amputated along with the microprocessor-controlled RFID chip.

Sadly, the one-armed post doc has now abandoned any more research into analysing the potential dangers that might arise should viruses infect implantable devices. Too gosh-darned scared of losing his other arm, he has now turned his attention to much more important research.

That’s right. He’s now actively involved in the field of biomimetics, where he is attempting to design and manufacture a microprocessor that will mimic the brain functions of the large sea slug known as Aplysia. Once the device has been fabricated, however, he has no intentions of implanting it in his own brain, even though it might provide him with a little more common sense.

Dave Wilson
Editor, Electronicstalk

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