A timeline of Elon Musk's surgical robot company's growth

Spinal Tech

Elon Musk's surgical robot company Neuralink has made great progress since it was founded in 2016. The surgical robot will be used for neuroscience and is expected to help medical issues affecting the brain.

Here are seven key developments:

July 2019: Neurosurgeon Matthew MacDougall, MD, was hired by Mr. Musk to help develop Neuralink's robot.

August 2020: The Neuralink surgical robot was introduced during a presentation about the company. 

A Neuralink brain chip was shown to work in a pig, CNET reported Aug. 29, 2020. Mr. Musk described the implant as "like a Fitbit in your skull with tiny wires."

February 2021: Neuralink was tested on a monkey, who received a chip in its skull, CNBC reported. The chip was enabled so the money could play video games with its mind.

Human trials haven't started, but Mr. Musk said the company is working with the FDA to ensure implant safety in a tweet Feb. 1. Initial trials could start later this year, he said.

May 2021: Co-founder and president Max Hodak announced he left the company. He and Mr. Musk founded Neuralink in 2016. Mr. Hodak said he would remain a "huge cheerleader" for the company.

August 2021: Neuralink received $205 million in funding from investors including Vy Capital, Google Ventures, Valor Equity Partners and Craft Ventures. Previous investors included PayPal's co-founder Ken Howery, and Blake Byers of Byers Capital.

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