Brain-Controlled Robots

Supervisor
José del R. Millán - IDIAP Research Institute, Martigny (CH)
Date and time
Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at 5:30 PM - Ore 17.00: tè,caffè e biscotti/ni
Programme Director
Vittorio Murino
External reference
Publication date
December 29, 2004
Department
 

Summary

The idea of moving robots or prosthetic devices not by manual control, but
by mere thinking (i.e., the brain activity of human subjects) has
fascinated researchers for the last 30 years, but it is only now that
first experiments have shown the possibility to do so. Such a kind of
brain-computer interface (BCI) is a natural way to augment human
capabilities by providing a new interaction link with the outside world
and is particularly relevant as an aid for physically disabled people. In
this talk I will review the field of BCI, with a focus on how brainwaves
can be used to directly control robots. Most of the hope for such a
possibility comes from invasive approaches that provide detailed single
neuron activity; however, it requires surgical implantation of
microelectrodes in the brain. For humans, non-invasive systems based on
electroencephalogram (EEG) signals are preferable but, until now, have
been considered too poor and slow for controlling rapid and complex
sequences of movements. Recently we have shown for the first time that
online analysis of a few EEG channels, if used in combination with
advanced robotics and machine learning techniques, is sufficient for
humans to continuously control a mobile robot.





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