A tragic diving accident in 2010 left Ian Burkhart a quadriplegic; faced with the prospect of living the rest of his life paralysed from the neck down.However, a few years later, thanks to a group of talented doctors and an array of electrodes implanted in his motor cortex, he is now able to swipe credit cards and play video games with his own hands.
Sam Schmidt, who made headlines by breaking speed records in a semi-autonomous modified Corvette Z06 during the Indianapolis 500 earlier this year, is about to receive the first autonomous vehicle restricted driver s license to be issued in the United States.Schmidt, prior to an accident in 2000 that rendered him quadriplegic, was one of the top Indy Racing League drivers during the late 90s.His accident while preparing for the 2000 Indy season may have ended his racing career, but it hasn t kept him from tearing up the track and breaking speed records.Partnering with Arrow Electronics, Sam Schmidt drove a semi-autonomous car an incredible 152 mph without using his arms or legs.1 This vehicle was fitted with sensors and cameras that enabled him to control the vehicle with his head, breathing, and voice commands while its intelligent on-board computer handled the rest.While that speed might not be a record-breaking pace on the icon Indy track under normal conditions, it provided a big proof of concept for semi-autonomous vehicles that can be driven without the use of the driver s arms or legs.Nevada license allows open road use
A specially modified car is allowing an ex-racing driver, who became quadriplegic after a car accident, to drive on public roads in the US.The 2016 Corvette Z06 was adapted by Arrow Electronics using repurposed off-the-shelf technology to allow Sam Schmidt to control the car.He is the first American to be given a special licence to drive a semi-autonomous car on public roads.Mr Schmidt still requires a co-driver with him at all times, but the semi-autonomous vehicle allows him to take an active role in driving.BBC Click s Spencer Kelly reports.You can see more on a special edition of BBC Click focusing on assistive tech to coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December 2016 on the BBC News Channel, BBC World News and BBC One.
M. Cortese/Surjo R. Soekadar, Applied Neurotechnology Laboratory, GermanyThe exoskeleton is driven by brainwavesRobotics lends a helping hand.The system required no surgery and is mobile enough to use outside a laboratory.M. Cortese/Surjo R. Soekadar, Applied Neurotechnology Laboratory, GermanyPeople were using the system after just 10 minutes
p On Saturday, May 13, famed race car driver Mario Andretti will be back on the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.This time, he’ll be racing one guy: Sam Schmidt, a quadriplegic race car driver, in semi-autonomous cars.Schmidt was paralyzed from the neck down in a racing accident in 2000.Things seem to be going well for Schmidt in his new racing career, as he lapped Indy last year 152 mph, averaged 55 mph in the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb with racer Robbie Unser as navigator, and was the first in the nation to receive a drivers license for semi-autonomous driving.And the SAM car, as it’s known, was upgraded to a supercharged Z06 Corvette with 650 horsepower.Schmidt uses an advanced human-machine interface (HMI) developed by Arrow to drive the car.
p A new device could let paralyzed people control exoskeletons with their thoughts.Developed by researchers at the University of Melbourne, the device plugs directly into the brain without doctors having to perform surgery on the skull.Stents are used by cardiologists to prop open blood vessels, and this implant is designed around one; it slides through an incision made in the jugular vein up to a blood vessel near the motor cortex in the brain.At the end of the stent, a metallic mesh with electrodes picks up brain activity and relays this information to a recording device in the wearer’s chest, which wirelessly transmits it to an external computer that will control the exoskeleton.The researchers have called their device a “stentrode.”When a wearer thinks about a certain direction — for example, left — the brain fires in a particular way.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- For a brain-computer interface (BCI) to be truly useful for a person with tetraplegia, it should be ready whenever it's needed, with minimal expert intervention, including the very first time it's used."Up until now, getting going with a BCI has required oversight from a trained technician," said Brandman, whose research engaged a team of scientists, engineers and physicians from across the BrainGate collaboration, which includes Brown, the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center (PVAMC), Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Case Western Reserve University and Stanford University."Our results suggest that once we begin to record from our users' motor cortex, we can push the 'calibrate' button and allow the user to rapidly develop intuitive and high-quality cursor control," Brandman added."Our new approach removes the need for technician oversight during calibration."In the past few years, our team has demonstrated that people with tetraplegia can use the investigational BrainGate BCI to gain multidimensional control of a robotic arm, to point-and-click on a computer screen to type 39-plus correct characters per minute, and even to move their own arm and hand again -- all simply by thinking about that movement," Hochberg said.In that older approach, trial participants worked iteratively and explicitly through target acquisition attempts while a trained clinical research technician monitored and updated the software.
Lewis Hamilton is no stranger to racing F1 cars, with the second-highest number of Grand Prix wins ever (62) under his belt, but we doubt he’s ever experienced anything like the race he’s agreed to.Speaking at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) education conference in Dubai, Hamilton agreed to a race where both he and his competitor control their cars with just their brainwaves.The agreement came at the end of a session where Hamilton was talking about what it takes to become a champion and how to use sport to inspire young people.The panel was thrown open to questions from the audience and Rodrigo Hübner Mendes threw down the unusual gauntlet.If Mendes’ name sounds familiar, you may know him from a news story that will make the request seem a little less bizarre.In 2017 he was the first person ever to drive an F1 car using his brain.
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are seen as a potential means by which severely physically impaired individuals can regain control of their environment, but establishing such an interface is not trivial.A study publishing May 10 in the open access journal PLOS Biology, by a group of researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Geneva, Switzerland, suggests that letting humans adapt to machines improves their performance on a brain-computer interface.The study of tetraplegic subjects training to compete in the Cybathlon avatar race suggests that the most dramatic improvements in computer-augmented performance are likely to occur when both human and machine are allowed to learn.BCIs, which use the electrical activity in the brain to control an object, have seen growing use in people with high spinal cord injuries, for communication (by controlling a keyboard), mobility (by controlling a powered wheelchair), and daily activities (by controlling a mechanical arm or other robotic device).Typically, the electrical activity is detected at one or more points of the surface of the skull, using non-invasive electroencephalographic electrodes, and fed through a computer program that, over time, improves its responsiveness and accuracy through learning.As machine learning algorithms have become both faster and more powerful, researchers have largely focused on increasing decoding performance by identifying optimal pattern recognition algorithms.
The beginning of the MoreGrasp project was marked by the idea of a groundbreaking further development of grasp neuroprosthetics activated by thought control.The aim was to develop a sensoric grasp neuroprosthesis to support the daily life activities of people living with severe to completely impaired hand function due to spinal cord injuries.The motor function of the neuroprosthesis was to be intuitively controlled by means of a brain-computer interface with emphasis on natural motor patterns.Paradigm shift: actually thought movement as signalGernot Müller-Putz explains brain-computer interfaces as follows: 'In tetraplegia all the circuits in the brain and muscles in the body parts concerned are still intact, but the neurological connection between the brain and limb is interrupted.Previously, the researchers worked with arbitrary mental concepts.
In a study published November 21 in PLOS ONE, three clinical trial participants with tetraplegia, each of whom was using the investigational BrainGate BCI that records neural activity directly from a small sensor placed in the motor cortex, were able to navigate through commonly used tablet programs, including email, chat, music-streaming and video-sharing apps.The participants messaged with family, friends, members of the research team and their fellow participants."For years, the BrainGate collaboration has been working to develop the neuroscience and neuroengineering know-how to enable people who have lost motor abilities to control external devices just by thinking about the movement of their own arm or hand," said Dr. Jaimie Henderson, a senior author of the paper and a Stanford University neurosurgeon."In this study, we've harnessed that know-how to restore people's ability to control the exact same everyday technologies they were using before the onset of their illnesses.It was wonderful to see the participants express themselves or just find a song they want to hear."This study from the collaboration includes scientists, engineers and physicians from Brown University's Carney Institute for Brain Science, the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center (PVAMC), Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Stanford University.
A four-limb robotic system controlled by brain signals helped a tetraplegic man to move his arms and walk using a ceiling-mounted harness for balance.While the early results are promising, the authors note that the system is a long way from clinical application and will require improvements before it becomes widely available.The study successfully trialled a four-limb robotic system, and the authors say that, once some necessary major improvements are available, it could have the potential to improve patients' quality of life and autonomy, but for now it is an experimental treatment far from clinical application."Ours' is the first semi-invasive wireless brain-computer system designed for long term use to activate all four limbs," says Professor Alim-Louis Benabid, President of the Clinatec Executive Board, a CEA laboratory, and Professor Emeritus from the University of Grenoble, France.They have also been connected to wires, limited to creating movement in just one limb, or have focused on restoring movement to patients' own muscles."Two recording devices were implanted, one either side of his head between the brain and the skin, to span the sensorimotor cortex (the area of the brain that controls sensation and motor function).
Also Brown University and Intel also want to develop an AI brain-machine interface tooA neuroprosthetic robotic suit controlled by brain signals has allowed a paralysed man walk again for the first time, according to new research published in The Lancet Neurology.The 28-year-old patient has tetraplegia resulting from a spinal cord injury that stops the nervous system from moving all four limbs.Doctors and physicians from Clinatec, a biomedical research lab at the University of Grenoble, France, built an exoskeleton device for the man to wear.He also had to implant 128 electrodes covering the left and right side of the upper sensorimotor region in his brain.These monitored and recorded electrical signals as he performed various exercises, and were passed to an algorithm to decode.
A quadriplegic man named Robert Chmielewski was recently able to feed himself by manipulating a pair of advanced prosthetic arms using signals from his brain. Researchers say the accomplishment marks a step towards restoring function and independence for those impacted by illness or injury, resulting in partial or total loss of the use of all four limbs and torso. To … Continue reading
(Kessler Foundation) "We saw both immediate and sustained improvements on handgrip strength and motor control in this participant with complete tetraplegia," said Dr. Zhang. "Voluntary motor control dramatically improved within one single session, with the participant able to successfully lift a water bottle and grasp a tennis ball with stimulation enabled, neither of which were possible without stimulation."
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