Man/Machine Interface Makes Muscles Obsolete

Man/Machine Interface Makes Muscles Obsolete

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Scientists use brainwaves detected by a skull cap to control a robot over the internet.

Why bother attending all those boring family functions across state lines when you can send your robot proxy instead? A biomedical engineer named José del R. Millán from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne has built a semi-autonomous robot that moves around based on the brain activity of a human. The best part is that this human doesn't have to be in the same room - or even have arms or legs anymore - and this kind of "telepresence" opens up the possibility for all kinds of applications from empowering the disabled to aforementioned family reunion problem.

The robot looks a bit like a hollowed out R2-D2, with a laptop and webcam on top running Skype so that the controller can see and hear what's in front of the automaton. Getting around normal obstacles is part of the machine's AI, but the robot can interpret brain activity as detected by EEG electrodes to receive movement instructions. All the subject has to do is think about moving in a direction and the robot would do just that.

Sounds complicated, especially for someone who has lost limbs or who is bed-ridden. Apparently Millán was able to teach two patients more than 100 kilometers away from his facility in Switzerland to operate the robot via the internet with only six hours of instruction over as many weeks. The patients were able to drive the robot around the lab for up to 12 minutes at a time, all while being able to listen to the Millán's guidance.

The applications for this technology are almost endless. Don't want to miss your daughter's graduation while you are orbiting the Earth and conducting experiments on the International Space Station? Send a robot! Want to be present at the birth of your first child but blood makes you squeamish? Send a robot! Feel bad about shooting and killing people in person? ROBOT!

Wait a second ...

Source: Science Mag

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So it's a bit like what Sheldon did to avoid leaving his room in the Big Bang Theory?

Sounds neat.

Can that thing be equipped with robo-arms for grabbing things?

If so then this truly is the way of the future.

Surrogates, here we come.

The last part made me lol. But honestly, this is too soon after Deus Ex: HR for me to remain at comfort. Wouldn't this mean that the 2027 from the game could become reality soon?

Scary stuff.

Seriously, THIS is the future of gaming, not bullshit motion technology.
Motion technology has been a step back and a gimmick, and I hope this becomes accurate and affordable enough for gaming soon.

Now we know the next phase: Mind-controlled Robot Wars!

Honestly, one step closer to populating the moon and mars with robots. Put enough satelites around mars and the moon with internet connections to broadcast at 2.87GHZ, then build and launch robots to be controlled by each person who pays for one on earth. Now your robot can build a real world on Mars. (Plus you get paid for this job!)NASA's next business model.

Better yet, welcome to the Arena! Place your bet on which Gamer controlled robot will win!

Braedan:
Seriously, THIS is the future of gaming, not bullshit motion technology.
Motion technology has been a step back and a gimmick, and I hope this becomes accurate and affordable enough for gaming soon.

I'm curious, how exactly would mind-controlled, remote-operated robots be applied to gaming? If someone starts griefing you use a robot avatar to slap them across the face?

IT HAS BEGUN

Cool, new tech like this is always helpful. For Science!

James Joseph Emerald:

Braedan:
Seriously, THIS is the future of gaming, not bullshit motion technology.
Motion technology has been a step back and a gimmick, and I hope this becomes accurate and affordable enough for gaming soon.

I'm curious, how exactly would mind-controlled, remote-operated robots be applied to gaming? If someone starts griefing you use a robot avatar to slap them across the face?

Instead of using it to send commands to a robot, send commands to the game software.

There are similar things that I've heard of, but they are terrible, require a mouse for precision, and (as far as I remember reading) only read things like facial expressions. If this can ACTUALLY do things just by thinking about them, then it is a game changer for a lot of different technologies. Think about it, if this goes wireless, you don't have to fumble around for a remote to change the TV, or take your eyes off the road to change your heat settings in your car.

Felgy76:
Surrogates, here we come.

Ha. That was my first thought as well.

ViciousTide:
Honestly, one step closer to populating the moon and mars with robots. Put enough satelites around mars and the moon with internet connections to broadcast at 2.87GHZ, then build and launch robots to be controlled by each person who pays for one on earth. Now your robot can build a real world on Mars. (Plus you get paid for this job!)NASA's next business model.

Better yet, welcome to the Arena! Place your bet on which Gamer controlled robot will win!

Honestly this just gave me one hell of an idea. Somehow find a way to stream the sensory information from the robot directly to the brain and find a way to induce sleep paralysis in an individual (more or less it keeps you from moving your limbs during sleep). While the body technically is resting the mind can operate robots in spaaaaaaaaccccceeeee!

If nothing else this is a good science fiction story premise.

This is all very interesting but the first thought I'm having after reading this was 'isn't this pretty much the first step towards making The Matrix a physical possability?'.

Fascinating yet at the same time could potentially end up being somewhat scary if misused.

One step closer to having my own island nation.

It is now just a matter of time. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

My first thought:

I think, and my thoughts cross the barrier into the synapses of the machine - just as the good doctor intended. But what I cannot shake, and what hints at things to come, is that thoughts cross back. In my dreams the sensibility of the machine invades the periphery of my consciousness. Dark. Rigid. Cold. Alien. Evolution is at work here, but just what is evolving remains to be seen.

Commissioner Pravin Lal, "Man and Machine"

I hope I'm not the only one to think of the Ghost in the Shell sequel. The manga sequel, to be precise.

 

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