What if you could think faster? Remember more? Wirelessly connect to the internet without a computer? Replace your missing arm with a better robotic one? What if you could become a Cyborg? Neuro-Engineering seeks to integrate technology directly into our brains and interface us with machines in ways never before imagined. And along the way, it is tearing away the veil that has long shrouded the brain in mystery. 

Next to sequencing the human genome, deciphering the neural code is arguably the most important endeavor science is ever likely to undertake. In a story that seems more like fiction than science, Robo Sapien is a feature documentary that explores the cutting edge in neuroscience and neuro-engineering.

From the early days of Dr. Jose Delgado to the ground breaking work of  Dr. Phil Kennedy, this film closely examines the past, present and future of this technology. A technology that soon promises to make us smarter, increase our memory and computational power and gift us with instant, wireless communication between... everything and everyone. 

Robo Sapien explains the history, science, engineering and applications of brain machine interfaces. What will it mean to be human? What happens when emotion, sensation and thought become digital? What are the risks to our identities, our individualities? What happens when the line between man and machine blurs and then finally fades away?

Robo Sapien: the secret (r)evolution, a feature documentary, first premiered on both the Science and Discovery Channel (US) and has since be released worldwide.

It was written, produced, directed, edited and designed by Dean Lewis

Robo Sapien : intro

dean directed his first feature film when he was 21. a low budget crime story, trial by vengeance was a baptism by fire, teaching him more in one day of shooting than he’d learned in two years of film school (which he promptly quit).

almost twenty years later, he’s still directing. whether it be a documentary, a game cinematic or a feature film.

most recently, he completed a feature documentary on neuro-engineering and the future of our species.

robo sapien

Robo Sapien : outro

Robo Sapien : monkey

one the keys to the evolution of neuro-engineering is the work done with monkeys. this sequence details some of the incredible science done at the university of pittsburgh by dr. andrew schwartz and his team, learning how to listen and understand the language of the brain.

this is a reenactment. the monkey was not harmed in any way. (although the same cannot be said for the human production assistants who were on set...)

for those interested in how this sequence was created, please take a look at the behind the scenes. (just to tease you, this whole sequence was shot on green screen. only the monkey is real...)

here is another cool sequence inside the brain.

here is a quick introduction to the synaptic mechanism. neurons 101.