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Brain Computer Interface

— Robotics

Flashing LEDs facilitate brain-controlled exoskeleton

Lower limb exoskeletons show great promise in helping those who have lost the use of their legs to walk again. However, if a person has been rendered quadriplegic, any hand controls in such a device are essentially useless. To help address this and other whole-of-body disabilities, scientists working at Korea University (KU) and Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin), have created a hands-free brain-to-computer interface to control a lower limb exoskeleton by specifically decoding signals from the wearer’s brain.

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— Science

Connected brains share control of virtual limbs and predict the weather

If the thought of using a person's brainwaves to control a machine isn't quite enough to make the mind boggle, then mixing signals from multiple brains for the same purpose might just do the job. This far-fetched field of neuroscience is edging ever closer to real-world technology, with a number of recent research efforts achieving significant advances, with mind-controlled drone flight just one example. The latest step forward in this area sees the brains of separate animals hooked up and their combined motor and sensory information used for things like controlling a virtual arm, pattern recognition and even predicting the weather.

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— Robotics

Quadriplegic successfully uses mind-controlled robotic arm

In 2012, a quadriplegic woman managed to move a robotic arm, using only her thoughts, to a level of proficiency that allowed her to eat a chocolate bar using said arm. The University of Pittsburgh team behind the study didn't stop there, though. By improving the technology in the arm and working more closely with test subject Jan Scheuermann, they have since enabled her to replace the simple pincer grip of before with four new hand shapes – fingers spread, pinch, scoop, and thumb up – that allow for more complicated object manipulation. Read More
— Bicycles

"Mind-reading" MindRider bike helmet wants you to have a sweet ride

While many people will tell you that commuting by bicycle is less stressful than driving, the fact remains that it can still be ... well, stressful. While you could try to determine the least-taxing route by jotting down how tense you are in which places, doing so could get pretty complicated. The MindRider, however, is designed to make that process easier. It's a "mind-reading" bike helmet that lets you create so-called mind maps of your travels. Read More
— Good Thinking

Brain-controlled exoskeleton to help kick off FIFA 2014 World Cup

On June 12th, the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be kicked off by a paralyzed person using a highly innovative brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton. This feat is being carried out as a demonstration of the current state-of-the art in assisted mobility technology, as the researchers involved – part of the "Walk Again Project" – work toward refining their invention. Read More
— 3D Printing

3D-printed EEG headset from OpenBCI is customizable and open-source

When Gizmag wrote about OpenBCI, a brain-computer interface system with open-source software, the company was waiting to announce an EEG headset it claimed would be entirely new. A few days later, the OpenBCI board is fully funded and we’ve seen how the team will implement a customizable and modular 3D-printed headset with open-source availability. The design not only showcases the utility of 3D printing, but more importantly demonstrates the company’s commitment to creating an open community around their product. Read More
— Electronics

OpenBCI Kickstarts an open-source platform for mind-machine melding

Last year saw a rise in brain-controlled interfaces allowing users to control devices with their thoughts (read more about it in our overview of 2013’s scientific innovations). But unless you have access to a research lab, you may be forced to rely on EEG monitoring devices that close off access to data, or restrict how you can use sensors. The OpenBCI project on Kickstarter aims to address these problems with an EEG platform that simplifies viewing and utilizing brainwaves, for researchers and hobbyists alike. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Rehabilitative device bridges the gap between stroke victims' brains and hands

We've recently seen rehabilitative systems in which stroke victims use their thoughts either to move animated images of their paralyzed limbs, or to activate robotic devices that guide their limbs through the desired movements. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, however, have just announced an alternative approach. Their device acts as an intermediary between the brain and a non-responsive hand, receiving signals from the one and transmitting them to the other. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

neurocam automatically shoots whatever its user finds interesting

Perhaps you know someone who's a member of the "lifelogging" community – these are people who record pretty much all of their waking hours, typically using small, wearable video cameras. The problem is, they inevitably end up with a lot of footage that's just ... well, boring, even to them. That's where the neurocam comes in. It's a prototype headset camera, that only records when it detects that its wearer is interested in what they're seeing. Read More