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Japanese mind control for wheelchairs

2009-08-07 14:20 BJT

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Scientists in Japan have come up with a new technology to allow brain waves to control a wheelchair. The designers say that current systems need several seconds to read brain waves, but the new system requires only milliseconds to do the job.

It's the latest in brain wave technology.

Here at the TOYOTA Collaboration Center in Saitama, Japanese scientists have developed a system using one of the fastest technologies in the world to control a wheelchair with brain waves.

The person in the wheelchair wears a cap that reads brain signals. Those signals are then relayed to the electrically powered wheelchair.

The signals are analyzed in a computer programme. The whole process takes just 125 milliseconds.

The new system allows the person in the wheelchair to turn left or right and go forward, almost instantly.

Andrzej S. Cichocki, PH.D., Riken, Brain Science Institute, said, "Brain computing interface and brain machine interface is the same. But in the United States, brain machine interface, they understand it impassive way. So in this case it is necessary to put electrodes inside the brain. And such experiment is done mostly in animals, monkeys. Our system is completely safe, and user friendly and it is non invasive. So we use electro-encephalography."