4.01.2009

Honda demonstrates robot controlled by mind power

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6012364.ece

Honda's new technology linking brain thoughts with robotics
The helmet used to control Asimo using only the power of thought.

Honda has demonstrated another milestone in man's attempts to control machines by the power of thought alone.

Using a helmet-like device that measures a person's brain activity and sends signals to the machine, Honda showed how a researcher could make its celebrity robot Asimo move simply by concentrating on the movement.

The latest version of Asimo been fitted with a so-called "brain machine interface" (BMI), the company said.

The helmet reads patterns of electric currents on a person's scalp as well as changes in cerebral blood flow when they think about four simple movements - moving the right hand, moving the left hand, running and eating.

Honda succeeded in analysing the thought patterns and then relaying them as wireless commands for Asimo. The company showed a video of a person wearing the helmet sitting motionless but thinking about moving his right hand - a thought that was picked up by sensors attached to his head inside the helmet. After several seconds, Asimo lifted its right arm.

Honda said the technology was not quite ready for a live demonstration because of possible distractions in the person's thinking.

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