Editorial Feature

Mind-Reading Robots - Medical, Teaching and Forensics Applications

Robotic technology has always been on the forefront when it comes to making our lives easier and safer. Robots have assumed great importance in our lives and robotic technology is presently used for performing tasks varying from simple household work to complicated and dangerous bomb squad assignments.

A mind reading robot is a highly advanced robotic technology that is capable of reading your mind by way of electric signals. The central unit of this mind reading robot is the brain–computer interface.

Mind-reading Technology

The brain–computer interface is the main operating unit of mind-reading robots. This interface is based on electroencephalography (EEG). Electroencephalography is a method used to measure the electrical activity of the brain. A mind-reading robot uses the EEG signals to distinguish between various brain signals pertaining to different body movements with an intended action. Mind-reading robotic technology is the branch of robotics that is human centered.

Each body movement is brought about by an electrical impulse from the brain. Therefore, in order to read the human mind, it is essential to track the electrical activity happening in the human brain.

This data can be reinforced by combining it with the measure of electrical activity in the muscle; as a result, the brain signals are not only detected but their intent is also interpreted. The crux of the mind reading robotic technology is to allow a human to use his/her thoughts and communicate his intention to move to the computer. Human mind-reading may be divided into five main categories, namely, emotions, desires, attentions, intentions and beliefs.

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Analysis of these categories is instrumental in devising algorithms for mind reading robotic technology. The method of deciphering the electric signals of the human brain and converting them into spatial representations is called brain mapping. The neurons of the brain are responsible for generating the electric signals; these signals are monitored by placing a number of electrodes on the scalp.

Applications

Mind-reading robots find a host of applications varying from medicine to academics.

Medical Applications – Mind-reading robots can be very helpful for physically handicapped individuals. The robot can be mapped to their brains; this way the signals from their brain will control the robot. They can use the help from the robot to carry out their daily chores, which require physical movement that they are incapable of performing. People affected by paralysis greatly benefit by such robots.

Robot Teachers – A recent project on mind-reading robot conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed an intelligent tutoring system that employs virtual teachers. Virtual teachers in this system are mind-reading robots that are capable of detecting a breech in the attention of the students and also incorporating techniques that bring back their attention to the online tutorial.

Future of Mind-Reading Robots

The most challenging proposition that scientists are faced with is decoding the human brain. Various research projects and experiments have been successful to the extent of interpreting the brain’s signals through brain–computer interfaces. Future advancements in the field of mind-reading robots are bound to play a big role in the field of medicine, academics and forensics.

Sources and Further Reading

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