In a breakthrough of almost epic proportions, University of Minnesota scientists were able to carry off an incredible, non-invasive, first ever, brain-computer that will be able to help those who are disabled, control their chairs with their brain. [see abstract]
The implications for those with multiple sclerosis (MS) and others are astonishing.
With amazing results, Professor Bin He and his team studied the use of brain-computer interface (BCI) to control a robotic quadcopter in 3D with electroencephalograms (EEGs) in humans.
Five trained, non-disabled subjects were able to accurately, up to 90.5%, hit all targets while traveling at an average ‘straight-line speed’ and this beautiful work will be the frame for a follow-up that will help millions of people all across the world.
Janet Burns of Lima has suffered from MS going on two decades and she was very excited, saying, “I have been stuck in this chair for about five years now and, though I imagine this is going to take a good long while before it will be available and costs will more than likely be crazy at first too, but, I would just dearly love this!”
With ten hours of pilot training, the scientists set the parameters in such a way that the pilot only has to imagine making a fist with left hand to turn the drone left, making a fist with right hand to turn the drone right and making a fist of both hands to fly drone up.
Yes, that is “IMAGINE“!
“The brainwaves contain signatures for each person, but there are some common features from person to person,” Bin He says. “There’s a high degree of similarity between imagining or thinking of movement as compared with actually moving that part of the body.”
The study was done with an inexpensive and readily available AR Drone quadcopter and with the four not having been exposed to BCI before the start of study and one having already trained and contributing in a previous study.
They had the subject view video feed from the perspective of the drone for two reasons:
- the subjects could keep proper understanding of which direction the drone was facing and which way they wished to go and,
- subjects would have had issues with how close the drone was to them.
The next step, according to Bin He, is to test those who have been paralyzed.
“This has to be a step-by-step process, but we’d like to move to disabled patients soon,” he said. “We want to allow them to control a wheelchair or switch the channel on a television using just their thoughts.”
[Get free email subscription to Lima Multiple Sclerosis Examiner to receive news and updates [click here].
For more info: for those who live in Lima, Ohio, the Northwestern Ohio MS Chapter can be reached at: 401 Tomahawk Drive in Maumee at (419) 897-7263. They are located approximately an hour and a half from Lima, Ohio and 45 minutes from Findlay, Ohio. For directions please click here at Google Maps
Multiple Sclerosis Community Support:
- MS World ~ “We’ve come together from around the world to help each other cope with the challenges of living with Multiple Sclerosis.”
- Patients like Me ~ “Our Promise PatientsLikeMe is committed to putting patients first. We do this by providing a better, more effective way for you to share your real-world health experiences in order to help yourself, other patients like you and organizations that focus on your conditions.”
- Med Help, Multiple Sclerosis ~ “Today, MedHelp empowers over 12 million people each month to take control over their health and find answers to their medical questions. MedHelp, a privately-funded company, has over 16 years of accumulated information from doctors and other patients across hundreds of conditions. In addition, MedHelp has long-standing partnerships with the top medical institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, National Jewish, Partners Health, and Mount Sinai. MedHelp’s audience, archives, and partnerships make it a unique health destination on the Internet.”
Sources: Karl LaFleur et al 2013 J. Neural Eng. 10 046003 doi:10.1088/1741-2560/10/4/046003 © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd Received 10 March 2013, accepted for publication 2 May 2013 Published 4 June 2013; Karl LaFleur1, Kaitlin Cassady1, Alexander Doud1, Kaleb Shades1, Eitan Rogin1 and Bin He1,2,3; Mind-controlled devices could help those who are paralyzed, JASON KOEBLER