Brainwave Reading Robot may Help Stroke Victims Regain Full Body Control
New research device by Rice University seeks to rehabilitate stroke survivors by turning thoughts into actions and retraining motor pathways.The multidisciplinary team hopes to develop a noninvasive brain-machine interface (BMI) & robotic orthotic device, that will revolutionize limb rehabilitation.
The concept is rather straight forward. In theory, the technology resembles a cognitive puppet and puppeteer. Two subjects are connected to a device, one healthy, one victim. The EEG Brainwaves from the healthy victim are transferred non invasively into the damaged area of the stroke victim. When the healthy subject thinks about or starts to move, the brain and limbs of the stroke victim ‘believe’ that the movement is happening within the body of the victim. The result is the brain and limbs of the victim slowly start rebuild the motor network pathways.
The Team from Rice has received a $1.7 million grant to explore the device, and is optimistic about receiving more grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the President’s National Robotics Initiative (NRI). Awesome!