The human mind can be powerful. The full potential of the human mind has not been known yet. Much research is still being made about the human mind's capabilities. Perhaps one research might show it, as a robotic arm is now controlled by the mind.
The field of Robotics has been making much progress. Many experiments have already been made that moves Robotics closer to how humans move. Robotics might move even faster with the new research made by the University of Minnesota. A robotic arm could now be moved by only using the mind.
This has much potential especially for people who have disabilities. Lead researcher and Biomedical Engineering Professor Bin He noted that this is the first time that a robotic arm can be moved using the human mind. People can now move the arm simply by imagining its movement.
To move the arm, an electroencephalography (EEG) brain to computer interface has been used. From there, the weak signals coming from the brain are transmitted through an EEG cap that has 64 electrodes. It is there that the signals are processed into action.
Eight participants were tested in the study. The participants have to gradually learn how to make the robotic arm move using only their thoughts, according to the University of Minnesota's site. First the participants had to learn how to move a cursor on a screen. After that they learned how to move the robotic arm to grasp objects on a table. The participants eventually learned how to make the arm get objects from random locations.
The success rate for picking up objects has been astounding, with an 80 percent success rate. Moving objects around has equally been high with a 70 percent success rate. The robotic arm project has been built around an earlier project by He, wherein a small quadcopter can be moved using EEG technology, as Science Daily reports.
The next project would involve having a prosthetic limb controlled using the mind. Such projects could later on be used to help people with disabilities as well as those who have been victims of diseases such as a stroke. There is much promise for Robotics, as a robotic arm can now be controlled by the mind. An earlier project has a robotic arm that could touch like humans.