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Control of a Humanoid Robot By Means Of A Brain-Computer Interface
December 18, 2006 5:57 PM   Subscribe

Dr. Rajesh Rao of the University of Washington has created a brain-computer interface that allows a human to control a small humanoid robot (video link) through brain activity alone.
posted by jason's_planet (19 comments total)

 
So this is it. We're all going to die.
posted by eriko at 6:09 PM on December 18, 2006


brain-controlled humanoid robot - I'm a friend of Dr. Rajesh Rao. I was told he was here. Could I see him please?

Desk Sergeant - No, you can't see him, he's making a statement.

brain-controlled humanoid robot - Where is he?

Desk Sergeant - It may take a while. Want to wait? There's a bench over there
[points to bench]

brain-controlled humanoid robot - [looks around then looks back at him] I'll be back!
posted by Pollomacho at 6:18 PM on December 18, 2006


so.... when can I order my 30-story brain-interfaced city crushing Manga robot?

cuz.. ya know... I've got governments to overthrow and stuff.
posted by Parannoyed at 6:25 PM on December 18, 2006


This seems like a pretty big deal.

Kudos to Rajesh Rao for synch'ing the brain and the bot.

Perhaps "electrical telekinesis" is only a few years away.

And then... electrical telepathy? Communication with another human through an electronic medium by the conscious willing of our thoughts alone? And after that it will become a collective endeavour... WE ARE THE BORG.
posted by ageispolis at 6:27 PM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


The catch is you cannot think in English and transpose; you must think in Russian.
posted by rolypolyman at 7:13 PM on December 18, 2006


Every time I try to play this video, Norton catches winamp trying to modify defwatch.exe, norton's definition updater.

Huh.
posted by SanitarySewer at 7:22 PM on December 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


And the new age of sex toys began.

On preview – expected but classic, rolypolyman.
posted by dreamsign at 7:23 PM on December 18, 2006


Don't get me wrong, this is a "pretty big deal," but research and advancement in this area is nothing new. For instance, researchers at Duke University were last year able to create a successful direct link between the brains of monkeys and a robotic arm in which the arm moved in direct response to muscle memory brain activity (see here for a better explanation). This is different, and IMO more impressive accomplishment because the arm responds throughout to brain activity and moves in the way a real human arm would instead of only accepting limited input at predefined intervals, as Dr. Rao's BCI does. However, Dr. Rao's novel use of the fact that "the brain responds differently when the object being attended to flashes" is really interesting.
posted by kurmbox at 7:25 PM on December 18, 2006


From what I gather from the site, it's not quite as impressive as it looks. The computer figures out what you're attending to, by your brain's response to the flashing lights. The computer then controls the robot by executing a pre-programed series of movements. Not quite as cool as if the person thought, "left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot, left foot, arms, hands, arms, hands...." The person thinks, "Green object" and then "left platform".

All that said, it is still mighty cool.
posted by Richard Daly at 7:30 PM on December 18, 2006


wow. Amazing. Definitely kudos to Dr. Rajesh Rao. Love the hip way that bot moves along with rhythm.

So will there be wifi bots coming down the pike too? Will there be brains in jars controlling bots? Bots maintaining brains in jars controlling bots? Bots with brains?
posted by nickyskye at 7:30 PM on December 18, 2006


And after that it will become a collective endeavour... WE ARE THE BORG.

Funny, I was just thinking about Seven of Nine (and why is that damn cat watching me?).
posted by maxwelton at 8:05 PM on December 18, 2006


That's what I figured, Richard Daly. But then, when we ourselves walk, we don't think "left foot, right foot," we just sorta execute the walking program.

Also, I've heard of a paralyzed man who can control a cursor with his mind. He doesn't know exactly how he does it; but then nobody knows exactly how we move our hands, either.
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:07 PM on December 18, 2006


....allows a human to control a small humanoid robot (video link) through brain activity alone.

PRoN sp0rn. It's when robots can control small alone humanoid brain activity. That's where the money's at.
posted by porpoise at 9:21 PM on December 18, 2006


The lawnmower people are going to love this stuff.
posted by Twang at 10:10 PM on December 18, 2006


Well, we already had neurofeedback in video games. I've done that myself. This is taking it one step further. Kudos to Kurmbox for putting it in perspective/
posted by Sparx at 1:09 AM on December 19, 2006


i love it- groundbreaking neuro-robotic research... academic web page kickin' it oldskool - straight outta' 1997. you've just gotta love those hard returns.
posted by ab3 at 1:34 AM on December 19, 2006


Hail Krypton and the House of Rao
posted by Smedleyman at 7:26 AM on December 19, 2006


Can Battletech before far behind?
posted by drezdn at 7:43 AM on December 19, 2006


From what I gather from the site, it's not quite as impressive as it looks. The computer figures out what you're attending to, by your brain's response to the flashing lights.

Eh, it's a good start. I posted this so that people could look back on it in 15 years or so when this sort of technology will start doing really impressive things.

Love the hip way that bot moves along with rhythm.

Groove-bot. Saunter-bot. Stroll-bot.

Will there be brains in jars controlling bots? Bots maintaining brains in jars controlling bots? Bots with brains?

"The future is not only stranger than we suppose. It's stranger than we can suppose."

(Many thanks to everyone who grooved on this post!)
posted by jason's_planet at 8:04 PM on December 19, 2006


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