Honda, ATR and Shimadzu Jointly Develop Brain-Machine Interface Technology Enabling Control of a Robot by Human Thought Alone TOKYO, Japan, March 31,
2009 - Honda Research Institute Japan Co., Ltd. (HRI-JP), a subsidiary of Honda R&D Co., Ltd., Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute
International (ATR) and Shimadzu Corporation have collaboratively developed the world’s first*1 Brain Machine Interface (BMI) technology that uses
electroencephalography (EEG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) along with newly developed information extraction technology to enable control of a
robot by human thought alone. It does not require any physical movement such as pressing buttons. This technology will be further developed for the
application to human-friendly products in the future by integrating it with intelligent technologies and/or robotic technologies.
Notice the "*" in your quoted paragraph. This leads to a footnote which reveals the following information.
According to Honda and ATR in-house research.
So... Honda says that Honda is the first to develop this groundbreaking technology? I'm skeptical, for several reasons, but primarily because I think
Honda is a bit bias towards their own self-promotion. It's the same reason I wouldn't trust R.J. Reynolds in-house research teams to suggest that
Cigarettes contain cancer-fighting anti-oxidants. You know... they MAY ACTUALLY have, but what they wouldn't tell you (for example) is that those
antioxidants are lost in the incineration process.
The asterisk is there so that they can make a bold and likely false claim, while still being technically truthful. They're just banking you remember
the bold statement, and overlook or forget the retraction/statement of uncertainty that's in the fine print.
They may be the first to use a particular combination of technologies, or incorporate new technologies based on recent discoveries - but the concept
of BCI controlled robots is not new, and neither are workable demonstrations of this technology.
The below video was taken by researchers at the University of Washington sometime in 2007... or at least, that's when the video was uploaded to
Here's another 2007 upload from video taken at Keio University Biomedical Engineering Laboratory which developed a BCI for movement control in the PC
Software "Second Life". If you can control an avatar in a 3D simulation - you can control a robot in a 3D reality.
So the Honda demonstration (going to look for video as soon as I'm done), may be quite a bit more sophisticated and impressive than the videos posted
above. Still, I only intend to demonstrate that they were not the first to do it, even if they are the first to make a commercial grade prototype with
Also... note that this can be done in reverse, allowing computer control over a biological brain.
As well as basic integration and cooperation of brain tissue and computer to direct the movement of a robot that lacks a traditional brain.
We're a lot further ahead than most people would ever suspect, and much further behind than where many seem to project our technology to be.
SO its more like Ghost in the shell then gundam. Still it is amazing how far technology has progressed.
Lets just hope technology like this not used for war but i would still love to own a veritech fighter!
I've built things like these before, I learned mechatronics in the university and won one mechatronics engineering competition!
I could tell that, human-sized ones can be made practical. But sizes like those of Gundam would only be limited to a child's fantasy. It could be
done of course, and may offer some benefits of improved battlefield mobility but for practicality and reliability's sake, I'll just settle with
Of course things could change if force fields and much stronger materials can be invented, making these behemoths more viable war machines. But why
not just put them in attack helicopters or VTOL fighter aircraft??
Perhaps there's a very good reason why we haven't seen 12+ stories-high alien mobile fighting suits to date!! Except those mentioned in the Bible
Gundam is a stereotype.
I remember reading somewhere some Japanese guy made something called hybrid assisted limbs or hal for short which is a strength enhancing
Also a large humanoid vehicle would be usefull in mountains where tanks can not go so i think its not too far off.
Also it would be very useful in construction work.
In the late 90s india and pakistan had what was called the kargil war.
The terrain ws so rough tanks could not reach there and aircraft were prettymuch useless because of the mountains.
I think a humonoid vehicle would be very effective in such terrain as it can move as nimbly as a human.
Also if it has hands changing weapons will be realy easy. Also fighting with it would be very different and i feel this would give it a great
advantage over conventional weaponry.
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