Japan's BSI-TOYOTA Collaboration Center has successfully developed a system that controls a wheelchair using brain waves in as little as 125 milliseconds.
BTCC was established in 2007 by RIKEN, an independent Japanese research institution, as a collaborative project with Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota
Central R&D Labs, Inc., and Genesis Research Institute, Inc. Also collaborating in the research were Andrzej Cichocki, Unit Leader, and Kyuwan Choi, Research Scientist, of BTCC's Noninvasive BMI Unit.
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.
BTCC's new system fuses RIKEN's blind signal separation1 and space-time-frequency filtering2 technology to allow brain-wave analysis in as little as 125 ms, as compared to several seconds required by conventional methods. Brain-wave analysis results are displayed on a panel so quickly that drivers do not sense any delay. The system has the capacity to adjust itself to the characteristics of each individual driver, and thereby is able to improve the efficiency with which it senses the driver's commands. Thus the driver is able to get the system to learn his/her commands (forward/right/left) quickly and efficiently. The new system has succeeded in having drivers correctly give commands to their wheelchairs. An accuracy rate of 95% was achieved, one of the highest in the world.