Monday, August 1, 2011

Exoskeleton To Be Controlled By Brain Waves?

University of Maryland have created a new technology which allows users to control objects, for example an exoskeleton, using only their thoughts. It is called “Brain cap” technology, and Associate Professor of Kinesiology José 'Pepe' L. Contreras-Vidal and his team are using this non-invasive technology to translate thoughts into commands which can control computers and other devices. What kind of devices?

the UMD team is developing a new collaboration with the New Zealand’s start-up Rexbionics, the developer of a powered lower-limb exoskeleton called Rex that could be used to restore gait after spinal cord injury.
Today's exoskeletons are controlled by sensors which detect some kind of input from the user. But imagine a severely paralyzed individual who can not give any input at all. This technology could read the thoughts and translate it to move the exoskeleton. Seems like this technology is far away in the future? Maybe not. Just a couple of years ago exoskeletons seemed far away.