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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mind-Controlled Wheelchair in Works

LONDON -- Swiss and Spanish scientists are developing a mind-controlled wheelchair that could one day give severely paralyzed patients new independence.

The system will use electrodes embedded in a skullcap worn by the patient to transmit messages from the brain to a computer that passes them on to the chair through a wireless link.

"Early trials using a robot indicate that with just two days' training it is as easy to control the robot with the human mind as it is manually," New Scientist magazine said Wednesday.

The system has been designed by Jose Millan of the Dalle Molle Institute for Perceptual Artificial Intelligence in Martigny, Switzerland, scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and the Center for Biomedical Engineering Research in Barcelona.

The scientists are testing the system with a simple, wheeled robot using commands to turn left, right or go forward. It also includes in-built intelligence to keep the robot from colliding with anything.