Friday, May 23, 2008

A robotic brain-computer interface

New UI methods will be needed ...

"California Institute of Technology (Caltech) engineers have developed a robotic device able to act as a brain-computer interface. This is the 'first robotic approach to establishing an interface between computers and the brain by positioning electrodes in neural tissue.' According to the researchers, their approach 'could enhance the performance and longevity of emerging neural prosthetics, which allow paralyzed people to operate computers and robots with their minds.'

You can see above an earlier version of a prototype of such a system. It "is designed to fit inside a standard laboratory cranial chamber, used for acute experiments in non-human primates, to allow semi-chronic operation. A semi-chronic design has the advantage that the device can be repositioned over a different region with minimal effort and without need for additional surgeries." The device "is capable of positioning four neural electrodes to optimize recordings of action potentials." (Credit: Caltech)

This research work has been conducted at the Caltech Robotics Burdick Group by a team of engineers led by Michael Wolf, Joel Burdick, his mentor, Jorge Cham and Edward Branchaud.

Here is how Wolf describes the project. "Our approach consists of implanting a small robotic device (and accompanying control algorithm) with many individually-motorized electrodes that each autonomously locate, isolate, and track a neuron for long periods of time. To further complicate matters, we wish to find signals only from neurons dedicated ('tuned') to a particular task, say controlling an 'arm reach.' While the primary aim of such technology is for a neural interface for neuroprostheses, such a device may also advance the state-of-the-art experimental techniques for electrophysiology."    (Continued via Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends)    [Usability Resources]

A robotic brain-computer interface - Usability, User Interface Design

A robotic brain-computer interface

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