BSI-Toyota Collaboration Center

Description: The BSI (Brain Science Institute) Toyota Collaboration Center has recently developed a wheelchair that can be controlled by brainwaves. This wheelchair uses blind signal separation and space-time-frequency interface technology to analyze the brainwaves in about 125 milliseconds. Recently technological developments in the area of brain machine interface (BMI) have received much attention. Such systems allow elderly or handicapped people to interact with the world through signals from their brains, without having to give voice commands. It uses EEG (electroencephalogram) signals to determine what commands are. The system can adapt to the driver and learn their commands to make the movements more efficient. The wheelchair can make left and right turns and move forward with 95% accuracy.If for some reason the driver needs to quickly stop the wheelchair, there is a sensor on their cheek and they just have to push on the inside of their cheek with their tongue. RIKEN, an independent administrative institution partnered with Toyota to work on this movement in technology. Now, the BTCC system fuses one of RIKEN’s old systems, blind signal separation, and space time frequency filtering technology to allow brain analysis in a very short amount of time compared to previous technology which required multiple seconds. The new technology can even customize its characteristics to that of the person operating the technology for better efficiency. The accuracy rate of this new technology was 95%, one of the best in the world.

Advantages of the new technology:
  • Commands for smooth left and right turns and forward motion of the wheelchair are processed every 125 milliseconds by analyzing brain waves using signal processing technology.
  • Brain-wave analysis data are displayed on a screen in real time, giving neuro-feedback to the driver for efficient operation.
  • This technology is expected to be useful in the field of rehabilitation, and for physical and psychological support of wheelchair drivers.

Applications: Plans are underway to utilize this technology in a wide range of applications centered on medicine and nursing care management. R&D under consideration includes increasing the number of commands given and developing more efficient dry electrodes. So far the research has centered on brain waves related to imaginary hand and foot control. However, through further measurement and analysis it is anticipated that this system may be applied to other types of brain waves generated by various mental states and emotions.


Bloomberg: BSI-TOYOTA Collaboration Center Develops Real-time Control

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