Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Thought Controlled Futures

We talk to the people behind revolutionary technologies enabling people to control movement and manipulate objects using their thoughts alone. In particular, we take a look at the stentrode, a metal scaffold implanted in a blood vessel, that allows brain activity to be recorded and commands generated to control a full-body exoskeleton.

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Andi Horvath

You are listening to In Pursuit, a University of Melbourne podcast. I’m Dr Andi Horvath. Imagine you could manipulate and control the movement of a robot or any technology just by the use of your thoughts alone. Whilst it sounds like science fiction, it already exists in various experimental prototypes, because this sort of technology it has enormous potential for paralysed patients to use thought control to activate say a wheelchair, prosthesis or some sort of exoskeleton. At the 2014 soccer World Cup between Brazil and Croatia, a young paraplegic Brazilian who is usually wheelchair-bound was up and standing wearing a new mind-controlled robotic exoskeleton. He then kicked off the world cup game. On his head he had a cap that pick up electrical signals from the brain via his surgical brain implants. These signals were then converted by a computer into commands tor the “first-generation full-body skeleton” to follow through. It was the first public demonstration of thought-controlled technology. Another group of research scientists and engineers have just made a new milestone innovation into this thought-controlled technology brain computer interface a whole lots easier, safer and...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.