Researchers at the University of Tokyo created an interface that allows a rat to move a small car around with just his thoughts:
The rats were trained on the car by towing it around an enclosed area with the motors disengaged. A vision system positioned above tracked the rats by following colored markers on their backs and the vehicle. It fed the positions into a "locomotion estimation model" program that correlated the motion of the animals with readings from the electrodes.
Next the rats were suspended more tightly to the car so their limbs touched the floor only slightly. The researchers then switched the system into "neuro-robotic mode," with the neural signals used to help drive the car. Six out of eight rats used in the study adapted well to the car.
The researchers hope that this project will lead to the development of thought-controlled mobility aids for disabled humans.
Link via Popular Science | Photo: IEEE Spectrum