A researcher minds the robot’s balance as it is commanded to pick up a canned drink by an operator
(off camera)

Mind-controlled robot avatars inch towards reality

By Jason Falconer

November 13, 2012

Researchers at the CNRS-AIST Joint Robotics Laboratory (a collaboration between France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) are developing software that allows a person to drive a robot with their thoughts alone. The technology could one day give a paralyzed patient greater autonomy through a robotic agent or avatar.

The system requires that a patient concentrate their attention on a symbol displayed on a computer screen (such as a flashing arrow). An electroencephalography (EEG) cap outfitted with electrodes reads the electrical activity in their brain, which is interpreted by a signal processor. Finally, the desired command is sent to the robot to carry out.

Read more: Mind-controlled robot avatars inch towards reality.

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