Friday, March 3, 2017
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Researchers have developed a technology that can remotely control an animal’s movement with human thought.
Asian Scientist Newsroom | March 2, 2017 | Technology AsianScientist (Mar. 2, 2017)
Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a brain-computer interface (BCI) that can control a turtle using human thought. Their findings have been published in the Journal of Bionic Engineering.
Unlike previous research—most notably in insects—that has tried to control animal movement by applying invasive methods Professors Lee Phill-Seung and Jo Sungho of KAIST propose a conceptual system that can guide an animal’s moving path by controlling its instinctive escape behavior.
They chose a turtle because of its cognitive abilities as well as its ability to distinguish different wavelengths of light. Specifically, turtles can recognize a white light source as an open space and so move toward it. They also show specific avoidance behavior to things that might obstruct their view.
Turtles also move toward and away from obstacles in their environment in a predictable manner. The entire human-turtle setup is as follows: A head-mounted display (HMD) is combined with a BCI to immerse the human user in the turtle’s environment. The human operator wears the BCI-HMD system, while the turtle has a ‘cyborg system’—consisting of a camera, Wi-Fi transceiver, computer control module, and battery—all mounted on the turtle’s upper shell. Also included on the turtle’s shell is a black semi-cylinder with a slit, which forms the ‘stimulation device.’ This can be turned ±36 degrees via the BCI. The human operator receives images from the camera mounted on the turtle. These real-time video images allow the human operator to decide where the turtle should move. The human provides thought commands that are recognized by the wearable BCI system as electroencephalography signals. The BCI can distinguish between three mental states: left, right, and idle. The left and right commands activate the turtle’s stimulation device via Wi-Fi, turning it so that it obstructs the turtle’s view. This invokes its natural instinct to move toward light and change its direction.
Finally, the human acquires updated visual feedback from the camera mounted on the shell and in this way continues to remotely navigate the turtle’s trajectory. The researchers demonstrates the animal guiding BCI in a variety of environments, with turtles moving indoors and outdoors on many different surfaces, like gravel and grass, and tackling a range of obstacles, such as shallow water and trees. This technology could be developed to integrate positioning systems and improved augmented and virtual reality techniques, enabling various applications, including devices for military reconnaissance and surveillance.
The article can be found at: Kim et al. (2016) Remote Navigation of Turtle by Controlling Instinct Behavior via Human Brain-computer Interface
Source: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff. Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at: https://www.asianscientist.com/2017/03/tech/turtle-human-brain-computer-interface/
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
There is a need to continue to educate Members of Congress about ALS and its true impact on people living with ALS and their loved ones. This is where you and your voice come in. Advocates – people living with ALS, their families, friends, doctors and researchers – successfully sharing their stories with members of Congress will result in more legislative victories. Your personal story, delivered first hand, is one of the most powerful tools we have.
That is why The ALS Association invites you to join the entire ALS community as we unite in Washington, D.C. for the 2017 National ALS Advocacy Conference. This is our opportunity to share your ALS story and let Members of Congress know the true nature of the disease and why more must be done now.
The public policy priorities that The Association and the ALS community will be focused on this year include asking Member of Congress to 1) cosponsor the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act (S.379/HR.1171), 2) cosponsor legislation, soon to be introduced, to protect access to complex rehabilitation technology, and 3) appropriate $10 million each for both the National ALS Registry at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the ALS Research Program at the Department of Defense (DOD). For more information about the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act (S.379/HR.1171) click here.
This year’s conference will be held Sunday, May 14th – Tuesday, May 16th at the J.W. Marriott, in Washington, D.C. After a day and a half of meetings and training sessions, ALS Advocates from across the country will take to Capitol Hill for meetings with their legislators on Tuesday.
To attend the 2017 National ALS Advocacy Conference, please register online at www.ALSA.org/advocacy/advocacy-day. This website also provides information such as the hotel – the J.W. Marriott, travel information, a conference outline and other important information for participants.
Conference registration fees are waived for people with ALS and for one caregiver traveling with them to the conference.
For other participants, the 2017 conference has a $175 non-refundable registration fee for attendees who are affiliated with The ALS Association, an ALS Association Chapter or other affiliated organization. This fee covers a small portion of conference costs, including meals, transportation to Capitol Hill and briefing materials. Registration fees for children are $25. The fee for non-affiliate attendees is $350.
For the J.W. Marriott hotel, the single/double occupancy rate is $299 plus tax per night; $319 + tax for triple occupancy; $339 + tax for quadruple occupancy; with a maximum of four guests per room. Once you register for the conference, you will be provided with a direct link to the J.W. Marriott’s reservations website.
In order to request an ADA accessible hotel room, you must contact Michael Coscia at email@example.com. Your e-mail should include your hotel confirmation number. For all additional questions about hotel reservations or transportation, please contact Michael Coscia.
General questions about the 2017 ALS National Advocacy Conference can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The voices on the Hill during the Fly In were heard well, but were just a start. Let us join forces to make our voices louder by participating in the 2017 National ALS Advocacy Conference. We look forward to seeing you there and working together to champion these important priorities for the ALS community!