01/26/2013

Mind-Controlled Robot

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José del R. Millán, a professor at the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne has unveiled a robot that can be controlled by the brain waves of a paraplegic person wearing an electrode-fitted cap. A paralysed man at a hospital in the town of Sion demonstrated the device, sending a mental command to a computer in his room, which transmitted it to another computer that moved a small robot 60 kilometres (37 miles) away in Lausanne.

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The system was developed by Professor José Millán who should not be unknown to our fellow readers. Millán specialises in non-invasive interfaces between machines and the brain, and he had been involved in projects such as the multitasking BCI or developing BCI for Nissan cars to read the driver’s mind.

The same technology can be used to drive a wheelchair, Millan said. ”Once the movement has begun, the brain can relax, otherwise the person would soon be exhausted,” he said. But the technology has its limits, he added. The brain signals can be scrambled if too many people are gathered around a wheelchair, for example.

While the human brain is perfectly capable of performing several tasks at once, a paralyzed person would have to focus the entire time they are directing the device.

“Sooner or later your attention will drop and this will degrade the signal,” Millan said.

To get around this problem, his team decided to program the computer that decodes the signal so that it works in a similar way to the brain’s subconscious. Once a command such as ‘walk forward’ has been sent, the computer will execute it until it receives a command to stop or the robot encounters an obstacle.

Professor José del R. Millán, Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne

The robot itself is an advance on a previous project that let patients control an electric wheelchair. By using a robot complete with a camera and screen, users can extend their virtual presence to places that are arduous to reach with a wheelchair, such as an art gallery or a wedding abroad.

The robot itself is an advance on a previous project that let patients control an electric wheelchair. By using a robot complete with a camera and screen, users can extend their virtual presence to places that are arduous to reach with a wheelchair, such as an art gallery or a wedding abroad.

http://neurogadget.com/2012/04/25/professor-jose-millans-demonstration-of-mind-controlled-robot-for-paraplegics/4264

21:16 Posted by Jan Boeykens in Mind-Controlled robot, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

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