Not all the electrodes are used at all times (Photo: RIKEN)
The EEG cap contains a array of electrodes to allow taping into different areas of the brain over the skull. The driver is also wearing a cheek puff detector to allow reliable stopping of the wheelchair (Photo: RIKEN)
The Toyota/RIKEN wheelchair - this laboratory prototype runs with the EEG detector run by a laptop (Photo: RIKEN)
Toyota and Japanese research foundation RIKEN have teamed up to create a revolutionary wheelchair steered by mind control. This remarkable development is one of the first practical uses of EEG (Electro-encephalogram) signals. Designed for people with severe disabilities, the Toyota/RIKEN wheelchair is fitted with an EEG detector in the form of a electrode array skull cap, a cheek puff detector and a display that assists with control. To turn left, right and move forward, the driver simply thinks about the movement and the wheelchair instantly and seamlessly responds. To stop the wheelchair, the driver puffs his/her cheek. A detector on the face picks up the signal and immediately stops the wheelchair. This form of braking is necessary for safety reasons as a puff detector is more reliable than the EEG reader.
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