Friday, October 21, 2011

No. 333: Measure human sensitivity using light to control a wheelchair (October 21, 2011)

You can measure a brain that changes responding to joy and anger using light and employ the measurement results to control a wheelchair. A research team led by Masahiro Nakagawa, a professor of Nagaoka University of Technology, succeeded in controlling a wheelchair using the measurement results of the change of a brain. The professor already developed the technology to operate a wheelchair with the aid of brain waves. Measurement using light is superior to measurement using brain waves because the former is not as much affected by noise as the latter.

The research team used a small and portable optical topography device that irradiates far-red light through scalp and measures the change of blood concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin and reduced hemoglobin. Using the Emotion, Fractal Analysis Method developed by this professor, the device analyzes and outputs the change of brain in real time, and transmits information to the drive-train of a wheelchair. The built-in program moves the wheelchair forward if the input information is joy and moves it backward if the input information is anger. The research team plans to apply this technology to the medical and welfare fields.

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