How to Control a Robot With Your Brain

It’s finally here, we now have the ability, as a species, to use nothing more than thoughts to control electronics via computer and that means it’s only so long before things like Mechs could arguably become real, or those kickass Jaegars from the new movie Pacific Rim. 

“But what are you talking about, Break?” you ask in panicked breaths.  “Who’s controlling robots with their brains?”  The answer, of course, is Minnesotans.  Look at this video;

This research is being conducted to assist the disabled and people with neurodegenerative diseases, the kinds of people whose minds are still sharp but whose bodies are not responding the way they need them too.  With this technology, a wheelchair or other assistive devices could help them gain mobility again, to move around, potentially even walk, just by thinking of doing it which, at the end of the day, is pretty much how the rest of us do it. The only difference is technology responding to those thoughts to assist in the end result.  But the bigger, much more obvious implication is that you can use this for any technology. 

The potential exists right now for all kinds of machines to be operated remotely – drones come to mind, but anything you operate by remote control has that one additional step that makes it slightly less reliable – your body.  Look how smooth the craft in that video flies compared to how awful a remote controlled helicopter flies when you man the controls in your hands.  Thought to robot works much more efficiently than thought to hands to remote control to robot.

Thought controlled robots have the advantage of split second decision making – as soon as you think it, it happens.  No need to get confused and hit the wrong stick so you fly up when you mean to fly right.  This means our awesome robot avatars of the future will respond in real time just as we would.  Or that our robot soldiers will know how to duck and cover from enemy fire in the most bad ass, realistic way you can imagine.  And of course it also means there’s no good reason we can’t make giant robots fight each other for our amusement, beyond the curious waste of money that idea has always represented.  But look at what happens when you plug a human brain into a giant robot!

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This is what we’re heading towards.  It’s science.