Thought-controlled vehicles looking less like sf every day

Paul Raven @ 04-10-2010

The appropriately-named Science Not Fiction blog at Discover shares a video of a thought-controlled wheelchair developed by Japan’s Riken technology agency; thought-control for wheelchairs isn’t a completely new development (at least not in terms of the accelerating technology curve), but the response time of this one – 125 milliseconds – apparently knocks previous implementations into the proverbial cocked hat.

Great stuff, and a proof-of-concept for many other applications. While I in no way want to underplay the importance of mobility assistance for the victims of accidents or genetic bodily impairments, my inner thirteen year old is enthusiatically chanting Mind-controlled go-karting! Mind-controlled go-karting!

Straw poll: if you could choose one machine or device that you use every day – with the exception of your computer or smartphone – to be mind-controlled, which one would it be?


Bionic legs put wheelchairs on notice

Paul Raven @ 19-07-2010

OK, so the wheelchair won’t be obsolete until the REX system and its inevitable competitors are a great deal cheaper than US$150k, but I feel safe in assuming that won’t take too long in the grand scheme of things. Even so, as a proof of concept for technology that will allow people with paralysis of the legs to walk – actually walk, not just get around some other way – this is some sweet hardware; as a commenter at MetaFilter put it: “Jokes aside, even though the functionality is fairly constrained, the smile on his face says it’s worth it.” I’m inclined to agree.