Mind-Controlled Wheelchair

You may not have the psionic power of X-Men's Professor X, but Carmaker Toyota and research lab RIKEN have created the closest thing in real life: a wheelchair that can be controlled by thought.

The device scans brain waves through sensors in a cap. In 125 thousandths of a second, the brain-controlled wheelchair can turn a thought into a command to turn the chair left or right or to move it forward. To stop, however, the user must puff out his or her cheek, activating a sensor placed there. [...]

To best pilot the wheelchair, don't try too hard, suggested RIKEN scientist Andrzej Cichocki, leader of the project.

"It works best if you imagine playing the piano with either hand while turning the wheelchair or, for instance, jogging, to [make the chair] move forward," Cichocki said. "After two to four weeks of training, the accuracy is nearly perfect and it becomes effortless."


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