The U.S. Department of Defense is moving forward with its work on brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarding contracts to five research groups and one private company on Tuesday.

BCIs have been around for a while now, but the potential for expanding their capabilities is relatively recent. The primary purpose of BCIs have been developing better neuroprostheses, which is also one of the visions of DARPA’s Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) program. Through NESD, DARPA wants to develop high-resolution brain interfaces that could restore and enhance human senses.