Temporary electronic tattoos could soon help people fly drones with only thought and talk seemingly telepathically without speech over smartphones, researchers say. Electrical engineer Todd Coleman at the University of California at San Diego is devising noninvasive means of controlling machines via the mind, techniques virtually everyone might be able to use.
Commanding machines using the brain is no longer the stuff of science fiction. In recent years, brain implants have enabled people to control robotics using only their minds, raising the prospect that one day patients could overcome disabilities using bionic limbs or mechanical exoskeletons.
But brain implants are invasive technologies, probably of use only to people in medical need of them. Instead, Coleman and his team are developing wireless flexible electronics one can apply on the forehead just like temporary tattoos to read brain activity.
"We want something we can use in the coffee shop to have fun," Coleman says.
The devices are less than 100 microns thick, the average diameter of a human hair. They consist of circuitry embedded in a layer or rubbery polyester that allow them to stretch, bend and wrinkle. They are barely visible when placed on skin, making them easy to conceal from others.
The devices can detect electrical signals linked with brain waves, and incorporate solar cells for power and antennas that allow them to communicate wirelessly or receive energy. Other elements can be added as well, like thermal sensors to monitor skin temperature and light detectors to analyze blood oxygen levels.
Using the electronic tattoos, Coleman and his colleagues have found they can detect brain signals reflective of mental states, such as recognition of familiar images. One application they are now pursuing is monitoring premature babies to detect the onset of seizures that can lead to epilepsy or brain development problems. The devices are now being commercialized for use as consumer, digital health, medical device, and industrial and defense products by startup MC10 in Cambridge, Mass.
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Supernatural fans, ever wonder why the boys are named Winchester? Not only is it a brand of gun but there’s a famous ghost story that goes with it
Sarah Winchester, wife of the gun-maker William Winchester, visited a medium after her husband died of tuberculosis. She was told that the family was cursed and being haunted by people who had been killed with Winchester rifles. The psychic said the ghosts could be appeased if she built a house for them. “Never stop building,” she was told “or you’ll die”
For the next 38 years she had construction going on the home 24 hours a day
Each night she held a seance to ask the ghosts what to build next. Because she let the dead design much of the house the layout doesn’t always make sense
There are staircases that lead to ceilings
doors that open onto walls
and one that leads to a two story drop off
Sarah Winchester slept in a different room every night hoping the ghosts wouldn’t be able to find her. In 1922 she died in her sleep
I never noticed this.
Knowledge is knowing that Frankenstein is not the monster.
Wisdom is knowing that Frankenstein is the monster.