Connect to share and comment

Swiss scientists create a mind-controlled robot

In a demonstration Tuesday, a paralyzed patient at a hospital in the Swiss town of Sion imagined lifting his fingers to move a robot at the university in Lausanne, dozens of miles away - it responded.

wheelchair personEnlarge
Mind-controlled robots may one day help some control equipment such as wheelchairs with their brain instead of their hands. (Noel Martin/Getty Images)

Scientists from Switzerland have created a robot that can be controlled by the human mind.

On Tuesday, the researchers demonstrated that a paralyzed man could use his mind to control a 1-foot tall robot dozens of miles away.

It is the first time a paralyzed patient has been used to control a robot using thoughts, said the Los Angeles Times.

Researcher at the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne, Jose Millan, said that the same technology could eventually be used to drive a wheelchair or be used in smart prosthetics like arms or legs.

Read more on GlobalPostA printable home robot, easy as IKEA, brought to you by MIT

According to AFP, Millan said, "Once the movement has begun, the brain can relax, otherwise the person would soon be exhausted."

Despite the advancement in mind-control technology, Millan also warned of the difficulties that plague such research.

For instance, too many minds in one room or near the said object might mix up brain signals.

Other Swiss researchers such as Gregoire Courtine of the Polytechnic School in Zurich are trying to rehabilitate paraplegics to help them walk again using similar technology.

"The goal is that after a year of training with a robotic aide, the patient will be able to walk without a robot. The electrodes would stay implanted for life," said Courtine, according to AAP.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/technology/120424/swiss-scientists-create-mind-controlled-robot