Feeds

Japanese boffins build breakthrough brain-machine interface

Works without surgery, training

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.