Mind-controlled wheelchair study shows promising results

Participants used a skullcap to measure brain activity.

Updated: November 20, 2022 - 1:38pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

People who are paralyzed may be able to control their wheelchairs with their thoughts after an extended training period, according to a new study. 

Three tetraplegic people were recruited for the study and had training sessions three times a week for 2 to 5 months where they used a skullcap that detected their brain activities, SciTechDaily reported Friday.

The skullcap would measure brain activity through electroencephalography and convert it into mechanical commands for wheelchairs. 

By the end of the study, the devices responded to two of the users' thoughts at least 95% of the time.  

Two of the three participants by the end of the study were able to successfully drive their wheelchairs across a cluttered hospital room using only their thoughts. 

"Our research highlights a potential pathway for improved clinical translation of non-invasive brain-machine interface technology," said one of the study's authors, José del R. Millán.