It may appear to be a fairy tale to know that researchers in Toyota, Japan have successfully created a Brain Machine Interface, BMI, for controlling the movement of a wheelchair. First time when someone sees this the onlooker is awe-stuck. It may look like a magic. It is one of the most impressive inventions of this century. It can respond to the wishes of the person processing the user’s commands at great speeds.
Brain waves are analyzed just in a wink of 125 milliseconds. These signals are processed using the signal processing technology and commands are sent to the prime mover, which moves the wheelchair smoothly in forward or backward motion. It is a marvelous feat.
A laptop that is fixed to the wheelchair displays the feedback about what the system is going to do. This alerts the user with instant information letting the user know whether the commands are understood. As this predicts the onward motion, it is easy for the user to focus his attention to the next move so as to process the consecutive impulses.
Five sensors measure the activity in the brain using electroencephalography data and is capable of achieving close to eighty cent percent accuracy, it is claimed. Nevertheless, the accuracy is subjected to the learning of the system to the impulses of the user’s thinking pattern, which is gained over a period.
Researchers are expanding the usefulness and capabilities of this system continuing the research in interpreting the brain activity and impulse. It is hoped that the wheelchair could be used to help patients who have very limited movement options to operate the same in many rehabilitation centers. When they perfect this system this is going to revolutionize the rehabilitation process of acutely ill patients.