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Brain-machine interface capable of learning - E & T Magazine

See on Scoop.it - Cyborg Lives
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The first brain-machine interface system capable of learning commands has been developed in Japan.

The system, designed to help people with severe motion or speaking disabilities, is the first of its kind addressing the excessive mental load existing systems place on a user. Every time the user wants to perform even a simple action, he or she has to focus their mental energy to deliver the message, which could be very tiring.

“We give learning capabilities to the system by implementing intelligent algorithms, which gradually learn user preferences,” said Christian Isaac Peñaloza Sanchez, a PhD candidate at the University of Osaka, Japan.

“At one point it can take control of the devices without the person having to concentrate much to achieve this goal,” he said.

For the past three years, Peñaloza Sanchez has been developing the system which uses electrodes attached to the person’s scalp to measure brain activity in the form of EEG signals. The signals show patterns related to various thoughts and the general mental state of the user as well as the level of concentration.

Currently, the system can learn up to 90 per cent of common instructions such as controlling a wheel chair and navigating it around a room.

After the system learns the command from the user, the action could be triggered either by pressing a button or by a quick thought. While performing the automated action, the system looks for the so-called error-related negativity signal – a reaction in a human brain when an incorrect response is initiated – for example if the system opens a window instead of turning on the TV.

"We’ve had pretty good results in various experiments with multiple people who have participated as volunteers in our in vivo trials,” said Peñaloza Sanchez.

“We found that user mental fatigue decreases significantly and the level of learning by the system increases substantially.”


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The newly unveiled robot is able to understand and act on voice commands.
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Remember ApriPoco? It’s okay, we’ll forgive you if not, but we can’t say the same about a similar question asked about that fellow above here in a few years. With a heart and soul as warm as that found in Wall-E, Toshiba’s newly-unveiled ApriPetit is around half as large as the aforesaid predecessor, standing just 5.9-inches tall and sporting a pair of eyes capable of staring straight through your being. It’s described as a “portable robotic interface,” able to understand and act on voice commands using a combination of speech recognition and text-to-speech software. The eyes themselves are said to double as “stereo cameras, which can find and recognize faces and determine how close they are.” As of now, there doesn’t seem to be any hard-and-fast plans for use, but it’s clear that home health and service is an area of interest. (via Service and Healthcare: ApriPetit Portable Robotic Interface | Robotics Trends)

The newly unveiled robot is able to understand and act on voice commands.

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Remember ApriPoco? It’s okay, we’ll forgive you if not, but we can’t say the same about a similar question asked about that fellow above here in a few years. With a heart and soul as warm as that found in Wall-E, Toshiba’s newly-unveiled ApriPetit is around half as large as the aforesaid predecessor, standing just 5.9-inches tall and sporting a pair of eyes capable of staring straight through your being. It’s described as a “portable robotic interface,” able to understand and act on voice commands using a combination of speech recognition and text-to-speech software. The eyes themselves are said to double as “stereo cameras, which can find and recognize faces and determine how close they are.” As of now, there doesn’t seem to be any hard-and-fast plans for use, but it’s clear that home health and service is an area of interest. (via Service and Healthcare: ApriPetit Portable Robotic Interface | Robotics Trends)

Swedish researchers are building a computer interface for your body. With a paper published in Nature Communications, researchers at Linköping University in Sweden have described a means of inserting “ion gates” into neurons. The goal, Dr. Magnus Berggren tells Wired, is to create an interface that lets machines control and regulate “physiology pathways in biological systems” — and that includes you. Neurons communicate through specialized molecules that trigger what are called neurotransmitters. Acetylcholine, for instance, controls muscle movement. The device described by the researchers would sit inside your body and act as a kind of repository for neurotransmitters. When the brain — or an outside computer — signals that these neurotransmitters are needed in a muscle or organ, the device would release these neurotransmitters so that the proper instructions could be carried out. “Our technology could be used to distribute all the chemicals along your muscle. That’s where we are aiming,” Berggren says. “Preferably, this is something that is coating your organ.” (via Swedes Explore Computer Interface for Your Biceps | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com)

Swedish researchers are building a computer interface for your body. With a paper published in Nature Communications, researchers at Linköping University in Sweden have described a means of inserting “ion gates” into neurons. The goal, Dr. Magnus Berggren tells Wired, is to create an interface that lets machines control and regulate “physiology pathways in biological systems” — and that includes you. Neurons communicate through specialized molecules that trigger what are called neurotransmitters. Acetylcholine, for instance, controls muscle movement. The device described by the researchers would sit inside your body and act as a kind of repository for neurotransmitters. When the brain — or an outside computer — signals that these neurotransmitters are needed in a muscle or organ, the device would release these neurotransmitters so that the proper instructions could be carried out. “Our technology could be used to distribute all the chemicals along your muscle. That’s where we are aiming,” Berggren says. “Preferably, this is something that is coating your organ.” (via Swedes Explore Computer Interface for Your Biceps | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com)

Conversations between people include a lot more than just words. All sorts of visual and aural cues indicate each party’s state of mind and make for a productive interaction. But a furrowed brow, a gesticulating hand, and a beaming smile are all lost on computers. Now, researchers at MIT and Tufts are experimenting with a way for computers to gain a little insight into our inner world. Their system, called Brainput, is designed to recognize when a person’s workload is excessive and then automatically modify a computer interface to make it easier. The researchers used a lightweight, portable brain monitoring technology, called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), that determines when a person is multitasking. Analysis of the brain scan data was then fed into a system that adjusted the user’s workload at those times. A computing system with Brainput could, in other words, learn to give you a break. (via A Computer Interface that Takes a Load Off Your Mind - Technology Review)

Conversations between people include a lot more than just words. All sorts of visual and aural cues indicate each party’s state of mind and make for a productive interaction. But a furrowed brow, a gesticulating hand, and a beaming smile are all lost on computers. Now, researchers at MIT and Tufts are experimenting with a way for computers to gain a little insight into our inner world. Their system, called Brainput, is designed to recognize when a person’s workload is excessive and then automatically modify a computer interface to make it easier. The researchers used a lightweight, portable brain monitoring technology, called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), that determines when a person is multitasking. Analysis of the brain scan data was then fed into a system that adjusted the user’s workload at those times. A computing system with Brainput could, in other words, learn to give you a break. (via A Computer Interface that Takes a Load Off Your Mind - Technology Review)