Swiss scientists recently demonstrated a thought-controlled robot which could prove useful in aiding the partially paralyzed down the road, and this is a baby step in the full train of thought to enable immobile folks to interact with their surroundings using avatars – something akin to what we saw in the movie “Avatar” a few years ago. While similar experiments were conducted elsewhere (the US and Germany), none of them have involved the partially paralyzed, as only able-bodied patients as well as those who underwent invasive brain implants managed to manipulate the movement of such robots using nothing but the power of thought alone.
A team at Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne did not need any fancy brain implants to achieve this objective, relying only on a simple head cap in order to record the brain signals of Mark-Andre Duc, who so happened to be lying down on a hospital bed that is located a good 100 kilometers away in the southern Swiss town of Sion. Duc’s thoughts, having being read as electrical signals, were decoded by a laptop at the hospital, before it is transmitted to a foot-tall robot to move around the Lausanne lab.
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