Human thought is used to control robots.
Have you ever heard of biosensor technology? University of Technology Sydney (UTS) researchers have developed biosensor technology that will allow you to operate devices such as robots and machines solely through thought control.
The advanced brain-computer interface was created in collaboration with the Australian Army and the Defence Innovation Hub by Distinguished Professor Chin-Teng Lin and Professor Francesca Iacopi of the UTS Faculty of Engineering and IT.
In addition to military applications, the technology has significant potential in fields such as advanced manufacturing, aerospace, and healthcare, such as allowing people with disabilities to control wheelchairs or operate prosthetics.
"The hands-free, voice-free technology can be used outside of laboratory settings at any time and from any location." "It renders interfaces like consoles, keyboards, touchscreens, and hand-gesture recognition obsolete," Professor Iacopi explained.
"We were able to overcome issues of corrosion, durability, and skin contact resistance by using cutting-edge graphene material combined with silicon to develop the wearable dry sensors," she explained. The peer-reviewed journal ACS Applied Nano Materials has just published a new study outlining the technology. It demonstrates that the graphene sensors developed at UTS are highly conductive, simple to use, and durable. The hexagon-patterned sensors are placed on the back of the scalp to detect visual cortex brainwaves. The sensors are resistant to harsh conditions, allowing them to be used in harsh operating environments.
A head-mounted augmented reality lens displays white flickering squares to the user. The biosensor detects the operator's brainwaves by concentrating on a specific square, and a decoder converts the signal into commands. The Australian Army recently demonstrated the technology, in which soldiers used a brain-machine interface to control a Ghost Robotics quadruped robot. With up to 94% accuracy, the device enabled hands-free command of the robotic dog. "In two seconds, our technology can issue at least nine commands." This means we have nine different types of commands, and the operator can choose one of those nine within that time frame," Professor Lin explained. "We have also investigated how to reduce noise from the body and environment in order to obtain a clearer signal from an operator's brain," he said.
The researchers believe the technology will be of interest to the scientific community, industry, and government, and they hope to advance brain-computer interface systems further.