Being able to move a physical object with your brain, commonly known as telekinesis, may seem like an impossible dream.
However, researchers at the University of Minnesota have been able to get one step closer to achieving this reality. Graduate students at the university developed an interface that involves a cap with over 50 electrodes, a computer, and a small remote-controlled helicopter.
The person wearing the electrode cap, which is non-invasive and is simply put on the head of the driver, imagines a certain movement, and this imagined movement is manifested into movement by the helicopter.
In the YouTube video that the students posted to prove the concept works, it can be seen that the brain gives off certain electric signals when it imagines a certain movement.
The example that the researchers used was closing the right hand to make a fist – this indicated a right turn. Closing both hands into fists indicated movement directly up.
The signals are sent to the computer, and the computer turns the imagined movement into actual movement of the helicopter.
The research was designed to assist those who have lost physical mobility of the limbs or other parts of the body. The implications of this research are that scientists will be able to program wheelchairs or artificial limbs with this ability, linking it to the users’thoughts.
With computers now being as small as smartphones, the ability to use an interface in concert with robotics has unlimited possibilities.
Those who have lost the ability to speak or do other routine things can benefit greatly from this development. The most attractive part of this research is that there is no surgery or chip implantation required.
Just slip on the cap and start moving things