University of Maryland works to translate thoughts into motion
The University of Maryland is researching new technology that turns thoughts into motion.
“We have been really pushing forward in terms of using the signals to control devices that could assist people with disabilities,” said José Contreras-Vidal, associate professor of Kinesiology at the university.
Contreras-Vidal and his team have been developing and testing a non-invasive, sensor-lined cap known as the "brain cap" since 2005. It translates brain waves into motion.
“You pull the signal from different sensors at the same time, and weigh the contribution of each of the signals to the movement...you can translate those brain activities into gestures,” he explains.
Studying the neural activity transmitted while the cap is in place can help decode different motions so that the information can be used to re-train the mind of people who are unable to move on their own.
“We have tested human volunteers wearing these caps that can after training the algorithm, they can control the cursor on a computer screen,” the professor says.
Within the next five years, this technology could be applied to prosthetic limbs or help people who have suffered a stroke. Thanks to funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, the university is conducting tests with a patient at a Baltimore hospital.
“We have gained insight on how movement is represented and now we're using that information to develop these innovations that hopefully in the next few years help people with disabilities, regain their independence and improve their quality of life,” Contreras-Vidal said.
“When we get to the end, we would like to have subjects control a robotic hand with these EEG signals,” said Ph.D. student Andrew Paek.
RecommendedRecent Facebook Activity
Best of TBD In case you missed it
Here's a visual look at the eight most delicious, disgusting meals in the country.
TBD Blogs What you need to read
The Market Report
@TBD On Foot
Only On 7
Now you can get customized weather right down to your street! Plan your day and week ahead with ABC7's Interactive 7-day forecast!