Considered a breakthrough in the field of noninvasive robotic device control, scientists have developed the first-ever mind-controlled robotic arm using a noninvasive brain-computer interface (BCI) that tracks a cursor on a computer screen. The usage of noninvasive control of robotic devices may advance the quality of life for individuals living with paralysis and other movement disorders.
"Despite technical challenges using noninvasive signals, we are fully committed to bringing this safe and economic technology to people who can benefit from it," says Bin He, Trustee Professor and Department Head of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. "This work represents an important step in noninvasive brain-computer interfaces, a technology which someday may become a pervasive assistive technology aiding everyone, like smartphones."
The paper, titled "Noninvasive neuroimaging enhances continuous neural tracking for robotic device control," establishes a framework addressing improvements for the "brain" and "computer" components of BCI. The authors approach suggests increasing user engagement and training and through EEG source imaging increasing the spatial resolution of noninvasive neural data.
"There have been major advances in mind controlled robotic devices using brain implants. It's excellent science," says He. "But noninvasive is the ultimate goal. Advances in neural decoding and the practical utility of noninvasive robotic arm control will have major implications on the eventual development of noninvasive neurorobotics."
Findings were published in Science Robotics and describes the researcher’s unique approaches using novel sensing and machine learning techniques to show enhanced BCI learning by 60% for traditional center-out tasks and enhanced continuous tracking of a computer cursor by over 500%.
Source: Carnegie Mellon University