Archives for June 2015

New Technology Develops Wheelchair Powered by Brain Waves

It sounds like something out of a futuristic movie; a wheelchair powered by a users brain waves, no movement or speaking necessary. In a recent press release, Toyota Motor Corp. revealed that they are bringing the ideas of the future to life.

Working closely with a team of Japanese researchers, Toyota has developed a system that is said to be on the forefront of brain wave analysis. Unlike previous systems that required several seconds to process a users brain waves, Toyotas groundbreaking technology can read and process brain waves in only 125 milliseconds – or 125 thousandths of a second.

This system requires that the user wear a cap that reads their brain waves, which are then sent to a brain scan electroencephalograph, or EEG, that is attached to the electric wheelchair, and then are analyzed in a computer program, all in less than a blink of an eye.

The new technology allows the user to turn left and right and move forward almost as instantly as the thought crosses their mind. As of now, stopping the wheelchair is slightly more complicated. The user must puff up one of their cheeks to signal a detector on their face that they are intending to stop the chair.

This revolutionary technology is all part of Toyota’s innovative plan to push beyond the borders of automobiles and into new areas of transportation for individuals.

Toyota’s famous rival, Honda Motor Co., has also been working to develop similar technology. Honda’s technology is currently more focused on analyzing brain waves to make mechanical moves on a robot. This technology was tested earlier in the year with a user wearing a helmet and thinking about moving his arm. These thoughts were transferred along cords to a mechanical robot; a few seconds after the initial thought, the robot responded by lifting its arm.

Currently, Toyota and Honda have no plans to turn this technology into a product for sale or use by the public, but they are both said to be continuing the research and development of these and similar technologies.

With developments such as these, the possibility of a wheelchair steered by brain waves is could be the future of the electric wheelchair.

Until the time comes for wheelchairs such as these, you can find the perfect electric wheelchair to fit all of your needs at Aeroflow Mobility. Also, be sure to find out if your insurance will cover your new wheelchair by filling out our Qualify Through Insurance form. After filling out the form, one of our Customer Service Representatives will contact you within three business days to discuss your mobility options.