Mind-Reading Wheelchair

According to this CNet post titled Toyota thinks up mind-reading wheelchair:
Toyota has developed the wheelchair in collaboration with researchers in Japan. The system analyzes brain wave data using signal-processing technology and delivers neuro-feedback to the driver.

Brain wave-detecting technology, or electroencephalography (EEG), isn't new. In layman's terms, a device, usually a cap wired with sensors, detects a person's brain waves. That information is analyzed by a computer and applied to the device in question. Scientists have pursued the technology for decades, but have had difficulty achieving short response times, explains the Associated Press.

Toyota's mind-controlled wheelchair, however, has what appears to be the quickest response time yet: 125 milliseconds, or 125 thousandths of a second. The user can almost instantly steer right, left, and forward. To stop, the person in the chair must puff up a cheek, a motion that's then detected by the headpiece.
This stuff amazes me! I am glad that this kind of effort is being spent to help disabled people. Gotta wonder where this type of technology will take us. Maybe one day Toyota will develop a mind-reading Camry.. now that is scary :)


  1. Very cool for disabled people! I can't help but wonder what the computer interface possibilities will be as well.

  2. Amazing and fascinating. It does make me wonder were the future is going. How wonderful for perple with disabilities.

  3. I'm much more amazed by the brain's ability to learn how to control the wheelchair than the technology that responds to electrical signals from the brain. This is like learning how to contol our body so that we can walk or throw a ball. Our initial conscious efforts to walk at 12 months of age quickly become unnecessary as the brain assumes complete unconscious coordination of our entire body when we walk.

    In the same way, the brain unconsciously learns how the wheelchair responds to various signals from the brain. That is very impressive.

  4. Great point Joe.. technology is no match for humanity.

  5. Shhhhhhh!!! The machines are listening! ;-)

  6. Good point Mike.. what would Sarah Conner say :)


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