The BSI-TOYOTA Collaboration Center has succeeded in developing a system which utilizes one of the fastest technologies in the world, controlling a wheelchair using brain waves in as little as 125 milliseconds (one millisecond, or ms, is equal to 1/1000 seconds). Commands for smooth left and right turns and forward motion of the wheelchair are processed every 125 milliseconds by analyzing brain waves using signal processing technology. Brain-wave analysis data are displayed on a screen in real time, giving neuro-feedback to the driver for efficient operation. This technology is expected to be useful in the field of rehabilitation, and for physical and psychological support of wheelchair drivers.
Recently technological developments in the area of brain machine interface (BMI) have received much attention. Such systems allow elderly or handicapped people to interact with the world through signals from their brains, without having to give voice commands.
Plans are underway to utilize this technology in a wide range of applications centered on medicine and nursing care management. R&D under consideration includes increasing the number of commands given and developing more efficient dry electrodes. So far the research has centered on brain waves related to imaginary hand and foot control. However, through further measurement and analysis it is anticipated that this system may be applied to other types of brain waves generated by various mental states and emotions.