Wheelchair Makes the Most of Brain ControlBy Graham-Rowe, Duncan; Technology Review,
Publication Date: September 13, 2010
Article describes a wheelchair operated by a combination of brain control and artificial intelligence. Developed by researchers at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, the prototype wheelchair uses an approach called “shared control” for propulsion and object avoidance. Although electroencephalography (EEG), using signals captured from the brain, can be used alone to propel a wheelchair, it has limited accuracy and is tiring for the driver. With the addition of computer software, shared control addresses these problems in that the user does not need to continuously instruct the wheelchair to move forward. Instead, the command is thought only once, and the software then assesses the immediate area to figure out how to follow the command without running into obstacles. The software can also understand when the driver wants to navigate to a particular object such as a table. To drive the wheelchair, a user wears a skullcap with 16 electrodes monitoring his or her brain activity. The wheelchair is also equipped with two webcams to help it detect and avoid obstacles. The article includes a video of the researchers driving the chair.
Published by: Technology Review, Inc. (Website:http://www.technologyreview.com)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Web Site: http://www.mit.edu )
Link to text: http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/26258/?nlid=3491&a=f
Link to video: http://www.technologyreview.com/video/?vid=611