U of M Announces New Technology Controlled by Brainwaves

Updated: 06/05/2013 4:24 PM KSTP.com By: Tim Sherno

The University of Minnesota announced a bio-medical breakthrough that makes it possible to control external mechanical devices with non-invasive computer interphase technology.

Professor Bin He, Ph.D. from the University's Institute for Engineering in Medicine pioneered the new technology that has far-reaching possibilities, "It opens doors for lots of potential medical devices down the road."

The new technology was demonstrated by flying a radio-controlled quad-copter through a series of obstacles controlled by brainwaves detected through sensors embedded in a wearable cap.

He says there have been other experiments that have controlled external devices, but those have relied on sensors physically implanted into a brain. 

He says his team is now working on a duel track. "Hopefully we're going to really revolutionize, not just the controlling technology, not just the decoding technology, but hopefully some of the sensing technology down the road," he said.

Non-invasive technology could eventually bring about life-changing technologies that could benefit victims of spinal chord injuries, some victims of stroke and amputees.

He cautions that more work needs to be done but is optimistic. "It doesn't mean that next year we're going to have thought controlled  technology," he said. "However, I believe if we keep working, step by step we will be there."