Read My Thought

honda-asimoRobotics is developing and robots are reaching the next level of self-awareness (sort of). Honda’s ASIMO humanoid robot can now be controlled with thought alone – and with a little help from brain machine interface technology. Distinguishing brain activities with high precision without any physical motion, but just human thought alone has become possible.

Honda Research Institute with collaboration from Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International and Shimadzu Corporation has developed the world’s first Brain Machine Interface (BMI) technology that uses electroencephalography and near-infrared spectroscopy along with newly developed information extraction technology to enable control of a robot by human thought alone. While conventional machine-interface uses devices such as switches which need to be operated by a user’s hands or feet, BMI uses brain activity data measured by various devices and enables non-contact control of the machines. This technology will be further developed for the application to human-friendly products in the future by integrating it with intelligent technologies and/or robotic technologies.

When the user imagines moving one of four predetermined body part options, ASIMO complies with a corresponding movement. The setup detects changes in brain waves and cerebral blood flow, which is analyzed on a real-time basis to translate what the user imagined.

What happens is that during the human thought process, slight electrical current and blood flow change occur in the brain. What is next? I keep wondering.

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