The Robotic Arm That Can Be Controlled with Your MIND (Download PDF)


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The ability to control a robot with your thoughts may sound like something from a dream. But it may soon become reality for people with paralyzing diseases. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have shown that it is actually possible to control a robotic hand with only your mind.

Mind controlled robots

Mind Controlled Robots

Mind controlled robots


  • Seemingly impossible feats should no longer be restricted to the realms of fantasy.
  • Study that demonstrates the potential to help millions of people with disabilities.
  • Time in the world that people can operate a robotic arm to reach and grasp objects in a complex 3D environment using only their thoughts.
  • The potential to help millions of people who are paralyzed.

About the Research

  • The non-invasive technique, called electroencephalography (EEG).
  • It is based on brain-computer interface.
  • It records weak electrical activity of the participant’s brain through a specialized, high-tech EEG cap.
  • The cap fitted with 64 electrodes and converts the “thoughts” into action by advanced signal processing and machine learning.
  • Eight healthy human participants completed the experimental sessions of the study wearing the EEG cap.
  • Participants gradually learned to imagine moving their own arms without actually moving them to control a robotic arm in 3D space.

University of Minnesota

  • Established: 1851
  • Academic staff: 3,804
  • Location: Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
  • Motto in English: A common bond for all the arts
  • The University offers 143 undergraduate degree programs
  • 200 graduate degree programs.
Logo for University of Minnesota

Logo for University of Minnesota

Logo for University of Minnesota

Advantages of Electroencephalography (EEG)

  • To provide immediate care in high traffic hospitals.
  • Relatively tolerant of subject movement, unlike most other neuroimaging techniques.
  • BOLD response in MRI.
  • Indicate significant aspects of the timing of brain development.
  • Allows for better study of the responses to auditory stimuli as it is silent.
  • Has very high temporal resolution (milliseconds).
Advantages of EEG

Advantages of EEG

Advantages of EEG

- Published/Last Modified on: December 19, 2016


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