02 December 2013

Controlling objects with a 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.
I was not able to find a citation for the funding for this research; the Department of Defense would seem to be a likely candidate.


  1. Not this time:

    This work was supported in part by NSF CBET-0933067, NSF DGE-1069104, the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) through ONR (N000141110690), NIH EB006433, and in part by the Institute for Engineering in Medicine of the University of Minnesota. The authors would like to acknowledge the Codeminders team for providing an open source platform for Java development of the AR Drone.

    1. Oops, I didn't notice the Office of Naval Research nestled in there between NSF and NIH. You were right.

    2. Thank you, joeyo. I didn't scroll down far enough - kept searching the headers. Appreciate your locating that.

  2. We need games controlled by thought alone.

    It's time to be released games without joystick.
    Games that use only the brain functions to execute the commands.


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