HONDA "Invents" BMI - Brain Machine Interface

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HONDA "Invents" BMI - Brain Machine Interface

Postby ryguy » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:10 pm

Brain Machine Interface Robot Control

Ok...now this is very cool. Although, we all know that it's very likely U.S. military/gov research has already developed this technology, but HONDA is bringing it commercial. It's called BMI...no not body mass index (yikes), but Brain Machine Interface.

By measuring brain electrical and blood flow activity with electroencephalography (EEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), the user can simply "imagine" lifting their arm, and the robot does so.

While this technology is very cool, when practical uses are considered, there really aren't many (in my opinion). I mean - it's one thing to sit there and to be told...ok, now imagine raising your arm, and voila, the robot does so. But imagine trying to intentionally control robotic technology with your mind. I just don't think people are that able to avoid thoughts. Someone intends to think "lift leg," and instead their mind decides to think about lifting the arm...oops.

Now integrate that kind of mind-control technology into real-world machinery and you can imagine all sorts of dangers associated with using BMI technology... The human thought process is far too unpredictable to uses as a form of systems control...in my opinion. Unless, of course, you can somehow measure the strength of the thought, or determine the "intention"...in which case you could seperate out errant control thoughts from the ones that are actually intended.

But I seriously doubt the technology is that advanced yet.

-Ry
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Re: HONDA "Invents" BMI - Brain Machine Interface

Postby lost_shaman » Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:06 pm

Hey Ry,

I think that's really neat tech.

I see you're point just as a stand alone technology, but I imagine that it would end up being integrated with all the other really cool technologies that have/are coming on-line. Just for example integrating BMI with fly-by-wire where software won't allow a controller to stall an aircraft no-matter how hard a pilot pulls on the stick for instance. You could also have software that to a degree anticipates certain actions during specific operations. As per your example "lift leg" might be the logical action despite an accidental "lift arm" thought and software could simply compensate by recognizing the intended action was "lift leg". At anyrate I think there are probably some really awesome opportunities here in the future for such technology and these conceivable flaws can surely be overcome.

Maybe in the future this type of tech might allow a controller to simply imagine the act of the performance of a complex task where the software and robot simply go and preform that task autonomously. Say you want your Robot to bring you a beer. Instead of imagining "left leg right leg" so on and so forth until you finally get the Robot over to the fridge and imagine opening the fridge and using an arm and a hand to grab a Beer, etc, etc, until finally you have a Beer in your hand, you just think "ASIMO go get me a Beer" and the Robot goes and does it without anymore thought on your part. You see ASIMO or any other Robot we can build in the future doesn't need you or I to tell it which leg to put in front of the other when its walking. Nor would it need us to tell it to use an arm to open the fridge instead of a leg, etc. So IMO there probably almost unlimited potential to technology like this when integrated with both current and future technologies.

Really cool stuff, thanks for sharing Ryan.
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Re: HONDA "Invents" BMI - Brain Machine Interface

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:34 pm

Please L_S,

Whatever you do, please, PLEASE, P_L_E_A_S_E do not forget Asimov's Laws:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.


Just keeping things tidy, ya know? :lol:

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Re: HONDA "Invents" BMI - Brain Machine Interface

Postby ryguy » Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:27 pm

You Can Call Me Ray wrote:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.



Oh man...to think how many movies have been created from the first principle. We create Robots that are programmed to not "allow a human being to come to harm." Yet, we as human beings often do things to harm ourselves. So what would such a robot do to protect us from ourselves without harming or injuring us. The answer has led to countless novels and movies... :)

LS - I love the concept of a robot that can "read your thoughts." Before you say you're thirsty, there's the robot with a glass of water. You start realizing that you'd prefer to change the TV to the Discovery channel - boom, the robot does it for you before you can even realize it's what you were going to say you wanted. This technology could be pretty fascinating..lol.
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