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Brain Machine Interface

Drones

Brain-controlled drone racing truly is a battle of wills

Drone technology is becoming quite a popular testbed for neuroscientists seeking to put brain-computer interfaces through their paces. Numerous research projects have already impressed us with drones controlled by nothing other than the power of thought, but for some, merely flying the things is already a tad passé. The Brain Drone Race takes this technology and gives it an edge, imploring pensive pilots to will their drones across the finish line ahead of the competition.Read More

Medical

Bypassing spinal cord lets paralyzed man control own hand

Using a specialized sleeve, his own mind and a brain-implant smaller than a pea, a man paralyzed from the neck down has regained the ability to handle a variety of everyday objects. The researchers say the success of the technology, which bypasses the injured spinal cord, offers "realistic hope" to others with similar disabilities, with the team planning to expand the trial to include new patients in the coming months.Read More

Science

Monkeys master thought-controlled wheelchair

Mind-controlled machines have been the subject of intense research in recent years, with a focus on improving the lives of people with disabilities. At this fascinating juncture between neuroscience and robotics we have seen experimental brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) used to fly drones, control telepresence robots and even switch channels on a TV. Now scientists at Duke University have developed a similar system that enables monkeys to drive a wheelchair using nothing other than brainwaves. Read More

Science

Mind-controlled prosthetic allows movement of individual fingers

Using the mind to control prosthetic limbs is a bold idea that is slowly becoming a reality, thanks to several important advances in neuroscience and robotics in the last couple of years. Now a team of researchers is claiming another significant breakthrough in this area, building a prosthetic arm whose individual fingers can be controlled via the mind, right down to the pinkie. Read More

Medical

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.Read More

Robotics

Mind-controlled telepresence robot to get paralyzed people out and about

A telepresence robot developed at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) that can be controlled by thought may give people with severe motor disabilities a greater level of independence. Successfully put through its paces by 19 people scattered around Central Europe – nine of whom are quadriplegic and all of whom were hooked up to a brain-machine interface – the robot handled obstacle detection and avoidance on its own while the person controlling it gave general navigation instructions.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

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