Real Estate

Elon Musk's Neuralink Plans $14.7M, 112,000-Sq-Ft Plant in Del Valle, Austin

Neuralink to build $14.7M, 112,000 sq ft facility in Austin, aiming for completion by May next year.

By Doug Elli

7/10, 17:03 EDT

Key Takeaway

  • Neuralink plans a $14.7 million, 112,000-square-foot office in Del Valle, Austin, starting July 15 and finishing by next May.
  • The facility will include offices, a machine shop, and cleanroom for device manufacturing; Studio8 Architects is involved.
  • Neuralink aims to restore autonomy to those with unmet medical needs and mitigate AI risks through human-digital intelligence symbiosis.

Neuralink Expands in Austin

Elon Musk's brain-computer interface company, Neuralink, is making significant strides in Austin, Texas. The company has filed plans to develop a new office at 2200 Caldwell Lane in Del Valle, just east of Austin. This new facility will be three stories tall, covering 112,000 square feet, and is expected to cost $14.7 million, or $131 per square foot. The office will include spaces for offices, a machine shop, and a cleanroom for device manufacturing. Austin-based Studio8 Architects is attached to the project, with construction set to begin on July 15 and expected to be completed by the end of May next year. This development is part of Musk's broader strategy to consolidate his various ventures in the Austin area, which already hosts his tunneling business, the Boring Company, and his broadband internet startup, Starlink.

The Details of Neuralink's Expansion

Neuralink's new office in Austin is a significant investment, reflecting the company's ambitious goals. The facility will feature a machine shop and cleanroom, essential for the manufacturing of Neuralink's brain-computer interface devices. The project, costing $14.7 million, is part of a broader trend of Musk's companies expanding their footprint in Texas. This move follows the establishment of Tesla's gigafactory in Pflugerville and SpaceX's $100 million office in Brownsville. The new office will support Neuralink's mission to develop technology that allows users to control computers and phones with their thoughts, a goal that has seen the company make headlines with its recent human implants.

Challenges and Progress in Brain-Computer Interfaces

Neuralink's journey has not been without challenges. The company recently implanted its brain-computer interface in its first human patient, a 29-year-old quadriplegic man named Noland Arbaugh. While the surgery was initially deemed successful, some threads from the implant retracted from Arbaugh's brain, reducing the functionality of the device. Despite these setbacks, Arbaugh has been able to use the device to watch videos, read, and play video games. Neuralink is now preparing to implant its device in a second patient and aims to implant the device in the "high single digits" of patients this year. The company is working to mitigate the retraction issue by inserting threads at various depths and sculpting the surface of the skull to minimize gaps under the implant.

Implications for the Future of Neuralink

The expansion of Neuralink in Austin and the ongoing development of its brain-computer interface technology have significant implications for the future. The company's goal to "restore autonomy to those with unmet medical needs" is a noble one, and the progress made so far is promising. However, the challenges faced in the initial human implants highlight the complexities of developing such advanced technology. The success of Neuralink's future implants will be crucial in determining the viability of its technology and its potential to revolutionize the way humans interact with computers. Moreover, the broader implications of Musk's vision to create a symbiosis between human and digital intelligence could have far-reaching effects on society and the way we understand human cognition.

Management Quotes

  • Elon Musk, CEO of Neuralink:

    "The company plans to implant a Neuralink device in a second patient next week."
    "Restore autonomy to those with unmet medical needs."
    "Mitigate the civilizational risk of AI by having a closer symbiosis between human intelligence and digital intelligence."