Mind-Controlled Robot Debuts in Switzerland

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April 25 2012 2:17 PM

Mind-Controlled Robot Debuts in Switzerland

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A new robot with a laptop built in Switzerland can be controlled from 60 miles away by a person wearing nothing more than a special cap on their head.

Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images

Finally, we have proof that mind-reading robots can be used for good, not evil.

With the help of scientists from Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology, a partially paralyzed man was able to control the movements of a mind-reading robot from more than 60 miles away simply by using brain signals.

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The robot, resembling a rolling laptop, received signals decoded from the man's brain when he imagined lifting his paralyzed fingers. Though a major milestone, the robot required his full attention to successfully move and was more difficult to control when the man was in pain or distracted by television.

Although similar developments with mind-reading robots have been demonstrated before, this particular experiment required no invasive brain plants, only a head cap able to record signals emitted from the patient's brain. We see a new style trend in the works!

Video produced by Jim Festante.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.

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