Mind over Mechanics

Quadcopter control in three-dimensional space using a noninvasive motor imagery-based brain–computer interface

In a jaw-dropping feat of engineering, electronics turn a person’s thoughts into commands for a robot. Using a brain-computer interface technology pioneered by University of Minnesota biomedical engineering professor Bin He, several young people have learned to use their thoughts to steer a flying robot around a gym, making it turn, rise, dip, and even sail through a ring.

The technology may someday allow people robbed of speech and mobility by neurodegenerative diseases to regain function by controlling artificial limbs, wheelchairs, or other devices. And it’s completely noninvasive: Brain waves (EEG) are picked up by the electrodes of an EEG cap on the scalp, not a chip implanted in the brain.

A report on the technology has been published in the Journal of Neural Engineering: http://iopscience.iop.org/1741-2552/10/4/046003/article

Read more here: http://z.umn.edu/e78

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