It sounds like something from science fiction, being able to control a device through thought alone.
However, a prototype wheelchair manoeuvred by human thought is very much science fact and was invented by a father and son research team from Australia. For the magic to happen, the user must first be fitted with a headband that reads brainwaves. The chair is then operated when the user thinks certain thoughts and blinks.
A camera helps the device to navigate obstacles and if stuck in a crowd, the chair’s own robotic brain takes over, but only for a limited time.
Researchers are confident this technology will have a huge psychological impact to people unable to walk and what’s more, this smart chair is simpler to use and less expensive than the similar creations being developed in other countries.
The smart chair has been already tested on 20 people with positive results. The next step for the father and son team is to get funding for a clinical trial where 100, severely disabled people will test it out. Then if all goes to plan, the smart chair could be commercially available in just one to five years.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1Podemos: Spanish indignation in Brussels’ corridors of power | euronews, reporter
- 2Israel announces it will seize 400 acres in West Bank | euronews, world news
- 3Watch: Angry mob throw Ukraine MP into rubbish bin | euronews, world news
- 4Japan sounds bluefin warning, calls for 50% catch cut | euronews, world news
- 5Hoverbike on the horizon | euronews, hi-tech
- 6China executes eight Muslims convicted of terrorism | euronews, world news
- 7New car offers freedom for disabled drivers | euronews, hi-tech
- 83D printing: a driving force in design and engineering | euronews, hi-tech
- 9Rise of the machines | euronews, futuris
- 10Ukraine accuses Russian aid convoy of stealing factory equipment | euronews, world news
- 11Iraq: Baghdad rally held against US ‘occupiers’ | euronews, world news
- 12Young Yazidi girl escapes Islamic State kidnappers | euronews, world news
- 13#ن: How an Arabic letter was reclaimed to support Iraq’s persecuted Christians | euronews, world news
- 14EU leaders name Donald Tusk European Council president | euronews, world news
- 15The business benefits of EU chemical regulation | euronews, business planet
- 16#Indyref Live: Scotland votes on independence from UK | euronews, world news
- 17Canada sends hilarious barb to Russia over Ukraine ‘incursions’ | euronews, world news
- 18Official ‘executed by flame-thrower’ over links to Kim Jong-un’s purged uncle | euronews, world news
- 19Thousands of Catalans call for choice on split from Spain | euronews, world news
- 20Iceland puts on a show as two of its volcanoes spew out lava | euronews, world news