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Honda Develops Brain Interface For Robot Control

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Honda Motor employee wearing headgear

AP Photo / Koji Sasahara

Honda Motor's Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) and Shimadzu Corp. have co-developed a brain-machine interface system that enables people to control robots using only their thoughts. The system builds on work announced in 2006 by Honda and ATR researchers, who succeeded in getting a robotic hand to move by analyzing brain activity using a magnetic resonance imaging scanner.

The new system measures the electrical activity in a person's brain using electroencephalography and blood flow within the brain using near-infrared spectroscopy to produce data that is interpreted into control information. The system requires no physical movement. A video released by Honda shows an individual controller (pictured) sitting in a chair with a large hemispheric scanning device on his head. Honda says the system uses statistical processing of the complex information to distinguish brain activities without any physical motion.

The participant in the video was shown one of four cards, which had right hand, left hand, foot, and tongue images, and was asked to visualize making a corresponding movement. After visualizing the movement, Honda's Asimo robot mirrored the movement. Honda claims a 90 percent success rate.

From IDG News Service
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