Experts from two universities (Minnesota and Carnegie-Mellon) have made a real breakthrough in noninvasive robot control.
These American scientists have created a robotic arm that can be directly controlled using the mind. This will serve as a push towards further breakthroughs in robot control methods which do not require physical engagement. These technologies will be particularly useful for paralysed people.
The difficulty of operating neural computer interfaces is caused by the complexity of transforming mental signals into specific commands, particularly without the use of a special microchip in the subject’s brain.
Nevertheless, by making use of the latest developments in sensor technologies and machine learning methods, this group of scientists managed to create a method for transforming mental impulses into commands for the robotic arm. Through neural visualization, the experts learned to eliminate interference despite the large volume of ‘noise’ passing through the electrodes.
The mechanical manipulator is not very advanced yet: it can watch and follow the movements of a cursor on a screen (the cursor receives mental commands through the neural interface). However, in the future this system might become something greater, giving paralysed people a chance at a fulfilling life.
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