The new MIT research has made it possible for the control of robots with your mind. Sounds bizarre, right? But this is what the researchers at Massachusetts Institute of technology have achieved. They developed a system that allows controlling the machine by just thinking about them. The product is the collaborative effort of the researchers of computer science and Artificial intelligence laboratory at MIT.
How does the system function?
The system works based on collective inputs given by EEG and ECG. Individually, these two are not precise but combining them both has increased the accuracy. The Electroencephalography (EEG) measures the brain activity. It does so through the electrodes attached to the scalp. On the other hand, the electromyography (EMG) measures signals produced by the motor neurons.
By looking at both the brain and the muscle signals, the system can pick the person’s hand gestures. It is just like communicating with another robot. In the experimental study, the team assigned the robot to power drill one of the three targets on the body of a mock plane. The results are promising, and further, the system worked on people it has never seen before. So the organisations can deploy the system in the real world without any training to its users.
Furthermore, the researchers also exploited the brain signals called Error-related potentials(ErrPs) that occur to people when they notice mistakes. So, when the algorithm encounters ErrPS, it immediately stops and waits for the user to correct it so that it can move on. The team employed humanoid robot dubbed “Baxter” for the project. In the experimental study, the accuracy of the robot ranged from 70 per cent to more than 97 per cent. The team hopes the robots come in handy for elderly or the people with language disorders or limited disability in the future.