”The ultimate goal is to create a surrogate, like in Avatar, although that’s a long way off yet,” says Abderrahmane Kheddar , from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, Japan. Even though teleoperated robots have existed around for decades, Kheddar and his colleagues look for stepping furthermore.
Scientists used fMRI to scan the brain of a university volunteer as he imagined moving different parts of his body. The scanner works by measuring changes in blood flow to the brain’s primary motor cortex, and with this data, an algorithm was created to distinguish between each thought of movement. Then the information was sent via an internet connection to a robot at the Béziers Technology Institute in France.
The finals results were that when the volunteer thought of moving his left or right hand, the robot moved 30 degrees to the left or right; and imagining moving his legs made the robot walk forward.
“True embodiment goes far beyond telepresence, by making you feel that the thing you are embodying is part of you. This is the feeling we want to reach.” Kheddar expressed. (JP)