Friday, April 27, 2012

Control Robots With Your Mind

Some sort of sci-fi joke?

No joke. Over the past several years there have been legitimate developments in the area of detecting electrical signals from the brain and putting them to work.  

Earlier this week it was reported that scientists at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne Switzerland were able to reliably recognize and translate the brain signals of a partially disabled man in order to move a robotic arm. The man was able to concentrate on controlling the robotic arm motion, and the signals from his brain were clear and consistent enough to decode and transmit, resulting in the action happening on the robot.

In recent years, similar results have been reported by Honda and others.

It's hard to say whether this approach will continue to hold promise and deliver results. But if it does, it has exciting implications. Together with more advanced wheelchairs and with exoskeletons, it could bring mobility to those who have lost it. It could lead to remote control of robots for dangerous situations such as battlefields of severe fires.

Are practical mind control capabilities to deliver mobility for the disabled and Avatar-like experiences in our future? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.


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