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Chinese researchers develop first brain-controlled car

Posted: 10 Dec 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:driverless car? EEG? brain-controlled car? mind-controlled vehicle?

Researchers in China have invented a car that can be controlled by the brain, according to a Reuters report.

Nankai University researchers, led by Associate Professor Duan Feng from the university's College of Computer and Control Engineering, have dedicated two years to develop the mind-controlled vehicle.

The technology works by wearing a head gear that reads brain signals, allowing the driver to control the car to go forward and backwards. It can also be used to stop the vehicle and lock or unlock the car. Duan hopes the brain controlled technology may soon be merged with driverless cars.

The head gear holds 16 sensors that acquire EEG (electroencephalogram) signals from the driver's brain, according to researcher Zhang Zhao. They also developed a computer program to pick and convert relevant signals to control the car.

Brain-controlled car

Chinese researchers develop a brain-controlled car. (Source: Reuters)

"The tester's EEG signals are picked up by this (brain signal-reading) equipment and transmitted wirelessly to the computer," Zhang told Reuters. "The computer processes the signals to categorise and recognise people's intention, [and] then translates them into control command to the car. The core of the whole flow is to process the EEG signals, which is done on the computer."

For people worrying about road accidents caused by distractions to the driver, Duan said concentration is necessary only when changing the car's moving statusmaking a turn or changing lanes.

According to the team of researchers, the technology was inspired by people with disabilities who cannot steer cars.

"In the end, cars, whether driverless or not, and machines are serving for people. Under such circumstances, people's intentions must be recognised. In our project, it makes the cars better serve human beings," Duan told Reuters.

Currently, the brain-controlled car can only move in a straight direction. There are no plans to put it into production yet, Reuters reported.

- Stephen Padilla

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