Video: Mind-controlled quadcopter demonstrates new possibilities for people who are paralyzed

Feb 11, 2014 by Miles O'brien
Video: Mind-controlled quadcopter demonstrates new possibilities for people who are paralyzed
Imagine living a life in which you are completely aware of the world around you but you're prevented from engaging in it because you are completely paralyzed. Even speaking is impossible. For an estimated 50,000 Americans, this is a harsh reality. It's called locked-in syndrome, a condition in which people with normal cognitive brain activity suffer severe paralysis. Credit: NSF

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), biomedical engineer Bin He and his team at the University of Minnesota have created a brain-computer interface with the goal of helping people with disabilities, such as paralysis, regain the ability to do everyday tasks.

Currently, the researchers are testing out their system using a flying object known as a quadcopter, and controlling it with someone's thoughts! For the experiments, the team uses both an actual flying quadcopter and a virtual one. In both experiments, the interface is non-invasive, so there are no implants. Participants wear an electro-encephalography, or EEG, cap with 64 electrodes. When the participant thinks about a specific movement, neurons in his or her brain's produce tiny electric signals, which are sent to a computer. The computer processes the signals and sends directions through a Wi-Fi system to direct the quadcopter.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

He and his team chose the quadcopter for this testing phase to keep engaged, but the interface is designed to help in the real world with , such as turning on the lights or surfing the internet.

Explore further: Quadcopter piloted by a smartphone

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Quadcopter piloted by a smartphone

Aug 19, 2013

The quadcopter, which was developed at TU Vienna, can negotiate its way through a room completely on its own. It does not need any human interference, and in contrast to other models, it is not assisted by ...

Recommended for you

Samsung delays Tizen smartphone sales launch

6 minutes ago

Samsung Electronics said Monday it would postpone the roll-out of its new smartphone based on Tizen, a home-grown operating system aimed at breaking away from Google's Android system.

Chinese portal Sohu reports $45 million loss

2 hours ago

(AP)—Sohu.com Inc., operator of a popular Chinese Internet portal, said Monday it lost $45 million in the latest quarter while revenue rose 18 percent to $400 million.

Sapphire talk enlivens guesswork over iPhone 6

14 hours ago

Sapphire screens for the next iPhone? Sapphire is second only to diamond in hardness scratch-proof properties, used in making LEDs, missiles sensors, and on screens for luxury-tier phones. Last year, the ...

User comments : 0