Wow, Ann, you don't even have to be there to do something. I can imagine a lot of uses, as you mention, for this technology. It is really something futuristic and shows the tremendous progress in understanding how we work.
One problem that will need to be solved is that of operator distraction. If adverse things can happen when a distracted operator is actually hands on with a machine, imagine what could happen with one controlled only by thoughts.
I know what you mean, Rob. But so far, this technology only tells robots to make simply body movements that the "sender" thinks about. I suppose it could eventually be extended to firing a gun or some other wartime function. OTOH, we're already doing remote bombing without thought control.
Thanks, Dave. As we mention in the article, the main apps are indeed rehab for those that can be rehabilitated. For those that can't because they're paralyzed, the goal is physical embodiment like in the movie.
In a much more crude fashion, Dave, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago in 2005 "re-wired" the body of a man who lost both arms as the result of an electrical accident. By thinking, he can move the fingers on one of his artificial arms. It's not nearly as elegant as the solution shown here, but it shows we're moving toward a Sam Worthington-type of solution.
@Charles Murray: Thanks for the link. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago is an incredible place. My godfather was there recently after a major stroke. This was during the time that Senator Mark Kirk was there. There is nothing good about having a stroke, but the level of care they provide is amazing.
You're right, Ann, we already have drones that are run by remote control. But that's not quite the same thing as a robot out to do a hit. Or an army of robots controlled by thought. The creep value escalates.
I seems that, science fiction screenplay writers are the driving force behind such innovations. In most of the science fiction movies there are some robots with extra ordinary habits and movements, which are controlled from remote location. I think such visualization capacity motivates the scientists and engineers to work towards for successful realization in real world environment.
Regarding sci-fi and robotics, science fiction stories (not movies) predicted all kinds of advances only now being realized in robotics and other technologies, but they did this decades ago. We now have the technologies to make these robots, and movie-making finally has good enough CGI to realize many of these abilities on-screen.
TJ, that's a good point. OTOH, the robot only recognizes, and responds to, specific thoughts it's been programmed for. So if it gets thoughts it doesn't understand, nothing will happen. The potential danger will depend on the robot's size, abilities, and what it's doing.
Yes, TJ, I agree. We know that the technology of gesture recognition is already possible. We have also seen Japanese robots that (who?) can walk upright. What bothered me about the video is that the robot had to be supported by a second human. Magicians know that this leaves wide open the possibility that the whole claim of "remote" thought control was just a twist of the operator's wrist.
Is this new technology or just a brand of religion seeping into wishful geeks and dweebs?
78RPM, the technology is still crude. As the article states, the robot's arm and leg movements are being controlled by thought to follow another person. But this doesn't include thought control of the entire body to keep it upright. So the robot still needs to be held up by another person so it won't fall over.
California State University, Chico was the first school in California to offer an ABET-accredited degree program in mechatronic engineering. Now its California Mechatronics Center works with industry on machinery, robotics, and surveillance vehicles.
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