Mind-Reading Robot Makes Debut

By Amy Ascherman
|  Wednesday, Apr 1, 2009  |  Updated 9:31 AM CDT
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Need help to open your car trunk or adjust your home air conditioner? Just think about it and Asimo will come to your aid.

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A new "mind-reading" robot could make most tasks simply a wish away.

Honda Motor Co. has developed Asimo, a human-shaped robot that is, believe it or not, controlled by thought.

The robot reads electrical current patterns on an individual's scalp and the change in cerebral blood flow that occurs when a person is thinking about certain movements through headgear that acts as an interface.

In a video demonstration on Tuesday, a person wearing headgear outfitted with the technology was able to think about lifting his right hand and within seconds the movement was mimicked by the robot.

The technology is at a research stage and possible distractions in a human's thinking may cause a problem with current technologies, the company said.  

As of now, Asimo also must study an individual's brain patterns for up to three hours before being able to carry out basic functions as a result of the variance in brain patters. 

"I'm talking about dreams today," said Yasuhisa Arai, of Honda's research unit. "Practical uses are still way into the future."

 

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