Control vehicles, robots and other sci-fi gadgets using only your brain.
Where did you see?
in the movie pacific rim Together, the pilots control the giant robots they use to fight more massive space monsters.
How close are we?
Brain control has been possible for years. In technical terms, this is called a brain-computer interface, which is a way of connecting devices to your brain.
In the past, researchers at the University of Twente used it to make numbers in a computer game world of cans to control And researcher Miguel Nicoleles had a paralyzed person symbolically kicking off the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, In a robot suit controlled by his brain† In 2012 a completely paralyzed Kathy Hutchinson was able to administer a dose to herself, under laboratory conditions, for the first time in 15 years, thanks to a robotic arm attached to her brain.
And developments have been very rapid since then. For example, a new generation of speech computers will soon be able to extract our language directly from the brain, so that people who can no longer move their muscles can have normal conversation in the long run, or so we hope. And billionaire Elon Musk, known for Tesla and SpaceX and not too bad for his megalomaniac plan, even dreams aloud about drilling holes in human skulls to connect our brains with computers, in order to finally upgrade our capabilities — he says.
Given the speed of developments at the brain-machine interface, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before Jeagers, like giant robots in pacific rim He called, he would see the light of day. However, there is a surprising difference between the previously mentioned examples and the way the pilots control their robots in this movie: there they do it in pairs.
And while connecting two brains together isn’t that easy, it turns out that two brains controlling one machine together is something scientists and engineers are seriously considering. hidden meaning? By combining people’s brain signals, you can reduce noise in the electrical signals picked up by electrodes on your head — or in some cases: directly into brain tissue.
For example, researchers from the University of Essex have already published Experiment results Where two people together drive a (simulated) spacecraft. In more than 90% of the attempts, the brain drivers together were able to steer the spaceship to exactly the right location. In addition, during the simulations, the pilots performed better when they moved together than when they drove the ship alone.
And two researchers from the University of California show up More people who moved a single robotic arm together had more accurate results when they worked together. During their experiment, this was done by combining the brain signals of twenty participants.
Brain control style pacific rim It is likely to become possible in the long run. And while there’s no reason to believe that Earth will be attacked by malicious giant aliens anytime soon, it might be a comforting thought.
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