Brain-controlled gadgets are finally becoming a reality. That’s right, soon you’ll be able to control more than just a robotic hand or computer with your brain. Which technology are you most looking forward to?
Robot Hand Controlled by Human Thought
Honda Research Institute Japan and Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) have partnered to develop a robot hand that uses “functional magnetic resonance imaging to scan a person’s brain” and then maps the scans to hand actions.
Though the scientists say they need “several breakthroughs in related technologies, including those for brain scanning hardware, before this type of non-invasive systems will be used in daily life”, this provides hope for amputees to someday have a mechanical limb that works as well as their original one.
Brain-Computer Typing Interface
Here’s another interesting brain-computer project: two users are typing using only their thoughts to control the interface. Unfortunately, no other information was provided on how the technology works. This is what Brian had to say:
This video shows how to type text *WITHOUT* keyboard – just by thought. And it’s serious research
Researchers at the University of Washington have unveiled a “brain-controlled” robot — basically uses “an electrode cap (a non-invasive tool generating a noisy signal), mental powers commanded the robot to walk to a block, pick it up, and set it down in a designated area.”
Because of the type of brain readings they’re getting, the bot is semi-autonomous, using human control for making the decisions based on video cameras, but managing the actual mechanics of the motions on its own. Right now the bot can only manage to pick up simple shapes and move them to another location, but the eventual goal is a human-controlled robot that can function in human environments, learn from its surroundings and perform meaningful tasks for its human masters
Remember the brain-to-computer interface we covered in the past? Now here’s a video of this technology in action which shows two players enjoying a friendly game of Pong, using only their thoughts to control paddle movements.