- May 29, 2006
Honda technology breakthrough controls robots via brainwaves; cars could be next
Honda Research Institute (HRI) has teamed up with Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (ATRI) to developing working technology allowing humans to control robotic devices simply by thinking about the task - a breakthrough that could change the way we control our motor vehicles.
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan a subject's brain as they make a simple physical motion, the system can replicate the motion using a robot in near real time (said to be about seven seconds for a rock-paper-scissors type of gesture). The system requires no surgical implant of electrodes, and no specific operator training is necessary. While the performance is considerably slower than would be required for something like a collision avoidance system, it's likely that a bit of time and the application of the "modern-day bigger-hammer approach" (read: more computational power) will help close the gap.
Potentially, the fatal flaw of the system is its reliance on actual thought processes - something said to be completely missing in many of the world's worst drivers.
[Source: Medical News Today]