Wheelchair Arm Controlled by Thought AloneBy Bland, Eric; MSNBC.com,
Publication Date: February 27, 2009
Article features a wheelchair-mounted robotic arm (WMRA) which is controlled by thought. Developed by scientists at the University of South Florida, the WMRA works via electroencephalographic (EEG) scans. The user operates the wheelchair or the arm while wearing a head cap equipped with electrodes and filled with an electrically-conductive gel to enable monitoring of a brain wave called P300. The user looks at directional arrows flashing across a small screen; when an arrow points in the direction the person in the wheelchair wants to go, the EEG picks up the P300 brain wave, and the wheelchair or robotic arm moves accordingly. Turning the wheelchair or moving the robotic arm takes about seven seconds as the arrows cycle across the screen. Movement continues in the same direction until another command is received. The robotic arm enables tasks such as turning a doorknob or lifting an object. When it becomes commercially available, in several years, scientists project the WMRA will allow patients with severe disabilities some independent mobility and the ability to control their own environment.
Published by: MSNBC (Website:http://www.msnbc.com)
Link to text: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29430690/