Hitachi has demonstrated a new way to control the electronic toy train movement by using human brain activities. This is another new milestone from its previous research demo that able to switch on a power switch through the mind thinking.
The new technology, known as optical topography detects the changes in brain blood concentration and translates it into voltage signals that can be used to control the operation of electronics devices. During the demo, the user is required to wear a special fiber optic helmet with infra sensor that sense the blood change (reflection of brain activity) and then translate it to drive the movement of the electronics train.
By utilizing this technology, there are various useful applications that it can take advantages of. One of the examples is for the disabled to control the artificial limbs or operate electrical wheelchairs with mind thinking. However, there are some challenges that the researchers need to face before it can be implemented to the end product. The brain structure is so complicated that the detection mechanism really needs to be refined through many experimental and research before it can be precisely used for more complex operations.
Although the usage is very much restricted to medical field in current stage, but Hitachi expects it to be available in commercial market in near future.