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Swiss scientists create mind-controlled robot for disabled patients

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Swiss scientists have created a mind-controlled robot so that immobile patients have some form of mobility.

EPFL mind control cap
EPFL mind control cap

A team of scientists at Switzerland's École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have developed a robot that can be controlled using only your mind. The new technology was demonstrated earlier this week, and involved a quadriplegic man wearing a cap to record his brain signals, which were then transferred to a small wheeled robot that he could move left and right simply by thinking it. While the technology has the potential to give immobile patients the ability to see areas outside of their hospital bed, there are a few issues that still need to be addressed. Chief among them is the fact that the system requires complete concentration — if you get distracted in any way the signal will degrade. In order to combat this the research team is hoping to make the technology work more like a human brain. So if you give it a command to walk, for instance, the robot will keep doing so until you either tell it to stop or it hits some sort of obstacle. According to the creators, a home version could be ready in "a matter of years."