Thought Commands Move Wheelchair

Audeo allows the control of a wheelchair by neurological signals. Put more simply, you can move the chair if you think you can.

The Audeo system uses a neckband with sensors to capture signals sent to the vocal chords by the brain to initiate speech. (Speech production is not necessary to move the wheelchair). These neurological signals are processed by a TI CompactRIO computer, which compares them to the signals associated with pre-recorded words determined during training exercises.

The computer then issues appropriate commands to the motorized wheelchair, which follows the commands perfectly (see video).

This is a truly remarkable achievement. The first time I ever heard of this futuristic idea was in The Menagerie, first broadcast in November of 1966. Captain Christopher Pike is confined to a wheelchair operated by brainwaves alone.

Note that this is not a case of a superhuman character who uses telekinesis to move the chair. Pike is an ordinary man who uses an extraordinary technology.

Which now exists, thanks to a lot of hard work by engineers at Ambient Corporation and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

For additional amazement, take a look at these articles:

Via Thinking of words can guide your wheelchair.

(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission of Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction)