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Scientists Used Virtual Reality to Teleport People into Different Bodies

How to tell how much you relate to another body? Threaten it with a sledgehammer and see if you flinch.
Image: Arvid Guterstam

While Surgery bots like Da Vinci XI are already letting doctors perform surgery through machines, we could see humans teleoperating robots from greater distances in the future. Say, for example, a doctor in London operating on someone in Mumbai, or a human operating a robot on Mars. But what goes on in your brain when you're under the illusion of embodying a robot?

This image shows brain regions relating to participants' perceived self-location. Image: Malin Björnsdotter/Arvid Guterstam

Next, the group want to apply their research to virtual reality research and remoted-controlled teleoperated robots. "In our experiment, we are teleporting the sense of self into a stranger's body. But that body could be a robot that could even perform surgery over a long distance," added Ehrsson.