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UC research brings a future of mind-reading robots ever closer
Thursday, 14 November 2013 16:52

If you think with the release of every new i-device the world is getting closer to thought-controlled smart tech and robotic personal assistants, you might be right.

And thanks in part to work led by the University of Cincinnati's Anca Ralescu, we may be even closer than you realize.

Professor Ralescu of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science will discuss her team's research aims and current progress on brain-computer interface at the International Human-Centered Robotics Symposium (HuCeRo). The University of Cincinnati's College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) will host the symposium on Nov. 14-17 at UC's Kingsgate Marriott Conference Center. The symposium aims to bring together leading researchers and engineers in the fields of robotics, computer science, material science and brain-computer interaction. Ralescu's presentation will be Nov. 17.

Brain-computer interface uses electroencephalography (a measure of the brain's electrical activity) to help distinguish which brain signal corresponds with the body's performance of a particular intended action. In these experiments, Shikha Chaganti, a graduate student in computer science advised by Ralescu, specifically targeted brain impulses generated when a person thought about going from a sitting position to standing and vice versa. Computers process this data – which can be reinforced by combining it with measures of electrical activity in muscle – in order to detect these brain signals and interpret their intent. The idea is to allow a person to use thought alone to communicate with a computer about the intent to move.

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