The Guardian reports that Honda has unveiled a robot that can be controlled by the thoughts of an operator wearing a special helmet. Read the full story and see a picture here.
The control module, if that’s the right word, appears to be slightly larger that a large washing machine, not counting the area where the operator sits. I have no doubt that it will rapidly shrink into something more portable.
To control the robot, the person wearing the helmet only had to think about making the movement. Its inventors hope that one day the mind-control technology will allow people to do things like turn air conditioning on or off and open their car boot without putting their shopping down.
The helmet is the first “brain-machine interface” to combine two different techniques for picking up activity in the brain. Sensors in the helmet detect electrical signals through the scalp in the same way as a standard EEG (electroencephalogram). The scientists combined this with another technique called near-infrared spectroscopy, which can be used to monitor changes in blood flow in the brain.