University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers are studying how brain-computer interfaces can be applied to robotics. The researchers' brain-computer interface (BCI) technology uses electroencephalography to help distinguish which brain signal corresponds with the body's performance of a particular intended action.
In their experiments, the researchers specifically targeted brain impulses generated when a person thought about going from a sitting position to standing and vice versa. The goal is to enable a person to use thought alone to communicate with a computer about the intent to move.
"We are experimenting with processing the signal and selecting useful features from it, and designing a classifier capable of distinguishing between the these two transitions--sitting to standing and standing to sitting," says UC professor Anca Ralescu. She notes the research eventually could be used in conjunction with a spring-assisted leg exoskeleton that can help people with impaired mobility, which also is being developed at the university. By integrating the BCI into the exoskeleton, users could think about standing and then receive a robotic boost as they rose to their feet.
From UC Magazine
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