HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
News
Mechatronics
Update on Thought-Controlled Robots
11/27/2012

By focusing their attention on patterns created by flickering lights on a PC screen, which are associated with specific actions, users can control which actions they want a robot to perform, where the robot moves, and how it interacts with its environment.   (Source: CNRS-AIST Joint Robotics Laboratory)
By focusing their attention on patterns created by flickering lights on a PC screen, which are associated with specific actions, users can control which actions they want a robot to perform, where the robot moves, and how it interacts with its environment.
(Source: CNRS-AIST Joint Robotics Laboratory)

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Avatar calling
Rob Spiegel   11/27/2012 3:05:23 PM
NO RATINGS
Great article, Ann. When you did your first article on thought-controlled robots, my first impression is that this technology could be used by those who need to control robotic arms and legs.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Avatar calling
Ann R. Thryft   11/27/2012 3:44:30 PM
NO RATINGS
That's right, Rob, paraplegics and quadriplegics (tetraplegics) are one target group for this technology, for actual physical robotic embodiment a la Avatar. Under the VERE project aegis, the other target group consists of rehab training for people temporarily confined to a bed or wheelchair.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Avatar calling
Charles Murray   11/27/2012 6:46:14 PM
NO RATINGS
This is incredible, Ann. Any idea how long it took to write the signal processing algorithms for this? It seems like an almost-impossible task.  

Greg M. Jung
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Avatar calling
Greg M. Jung   11/27/2012 8:28:50 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes, if paraplegics and quadriplegics could benefit from this technology, that would indeed be wonderful.  I wonder if the other groups like the elderly could also benefit?  (Or would the technology learning curve be a little too steep?)

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Avatar calling
Rob Spiegel   11/27/2012 9:57:35 PM
NO RATINGS
This technology could take prosthetics to a new level for users. While it may be awkward now, I would guess this technology will be refined in coming years.

Battar
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Avatar calling
Battar   11/28/2012 9:21:47 AM
NO RATINGS
Charles,

             The algorithms are far simpler than you think because you have a "man-in-the-loop" who can unconciously compensate for fairly large errors. For example, given 2 systems which react with a 30 degree difference in angular movement for the same input - well with one you'll just push a little harder until you get the desired result. You wouldn't even notice it. With fully automated autonomous systems, output must match input exactly or there will be trouble.

Battar
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Avatar calling
Battar   11/28/2012 9:26:16 AM
NO RATINGS
Rob,

        There is a downside to using thought to control robotic actions.

"Must - stop - thinking - about - kicking - the - boss - in - the - nuts ..."

Dilbert and Wally would have a field day with this.

Can you imagine the subsequent lawsuits? "I didn't push him under the truck.. I was just thinking about the insurance money..." 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Avatar calling
Rob Spiegel   11/28/2012 10:42:25 AM
NO RATINGS
That's funny, Battar. Would the machine read our subliminal thoughts? That could bring along a whole new way of living.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Avatar calling
Ann R. Thryft   11/28/2012 11:33:21 AM
NO RATINGS
Greg, the elderly could certainly benefit if they're among either target group, such as people confined to bed or wheelchairs. Since the technology is still being developed, most of the current learning curve is occurring among experimenters as they learn what thoughts produce what actions. Ideally, there won't be much for users.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Avatar calling
Charles Murray   11/28/2012 6:16:31 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, Battar. What you say makes sense. I still have to admit, though, I find it stunning that a software algorithm can read the electrical activities of the brain and translate it into anything.

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
These are the toys that inspired budding engineers to try out sublime designs, create miniature structures, and experiment with bizarre contraptions using sets that could be torn down and reconstructed over and over.
Connected sensor-enabled applications will improve the consumer experience -- and generate new revenue streams.
PowerStream is deploying the microgrid at its headquarters to demonstrate how people can generate and distribute their own energy and make their homes and businesses more sustainable through renewables.
Printrbot unveils its all-metal Printrbot Simple, bringing durability to low-cost 3D printers.
Today's robots should be respected, and humans should be wary of their growing skills and sophistication. Quite simply, robots are better than us in a lot of ways. Here are 10 of them.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service