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Technology Puts Mind Over Body

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brain computer interface demonstration

A researcher demonstrates how the brain computer interface could help a quadriplegic control wheelchairs by recognizing commands triggered by thought.

Credit: Bangkok Post

Researchers working on Mahidol University's iThink2 project have developed a brain computer interface (BCI) that controls electronic devices with brain signals and could help quadriplegic patients improve their quality of life. The project is aimed at developing a visual remote control for home electronic devices such as TVs. A sensor on the remote control detects the user's gaze, and can determine instructions using electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes and an EEG amplifier. The process, called Pattern Recognition Algorithm, then sends the signals to the target devices.

"We need to further develop the visual stimulation unit so that brain signals are strengthened and commands are processed quicker," says Mahidol's Yodchanan Wongsawat.

The researchers also are developing a wheelchair that uses BCI technology. Preliminary testing found that a BCI-controlled wheelchair had an average usage time of one to two hours before users became tired or brain signals weakened. The researchers say BCI technology also can be used to develop writing programs, video games, and robotic arms.

From Bangkok Post
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