Feeds

Japanese boffins build breakthrough brain-machine interface

Works without surgery, training

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Honda scientists have created a system that will translate thoughts into electrical signals that can be used to control machinery. The technique doesn't require the user to undergo surgery or extensive training - a major advance over past thought-controlled technologies, the company said.

Researchers at the Honda Research Institute in co-operation with boffins from Japan's Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute dub the system the "Brain Machine Interface". Details of the rig itself remain sketchy, but the system reads "natural brain activity... for the near real-time operation of a robot".

The scientists found that while monitoring brains to find the right signals for commands like 'yes', 'no', 'move forward' and so on is hard - at least not without considerable training on the part of the user or without electrodes implanted in the brain - it's much easier to detect the neural activity triggered when someone moves their hands. Using a simple command system based on the 'scissors-paper-stone' game, the boffins built a non-invasive detector with, they claim, a decoding accuracy of 85 per cent. The detector monitors the flow of blood around the brain rather than neural impulses per se.

There's one snag: there's a seven-second lag between the subject commanding his or her hand to form a scissor pattern and the robotic arm mimicking the human action. The system also requires some sophisticated computing to translate the brain's haemodynamics into robot-control signals, and of course the subject has to lie in a brain scanner - hardly a solution for use in the field. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
Who wants to be there as history is made at the launch of our LOHAN space project?
Two places available in the chase plane above the desert
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.