“Walk Again Project”: World Cup Soccer 2014, Brazil
Wearing a sophisticated mind-controlled exoskeleton, a paralysed teenager will start off the World Cup Soccer 2014, to be held in Brazil, with a ceremonial kick.
The Walk Again Project is a nonprofit, international collaboration whose researchers have created the first real-time Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) which uses the concurrent electrical activity, produced by thousands of brain cells located in the primate cortex, to directly control the movements of a variety of robots, including a multi-degree of freedom prosthetic arm.
How the Mind-Controlled Exoskeleton made by the Walk Again Project works?
The Patient wears a cap fitted with 32 electrodes that pick up Electro-Encephalo-Graphy (EEG) signals from the brain. The Computer in backpack converts brain signals into commands for the exoskeleton. Battery and hydraulics system in backpack move the exoskeleton’s limbs. The battery can power the exoskeleton for 2 hours. The Gyroscopes on the exoskeleton keep it balanced. The Sensors on the foot plates detect footfalls and give sensory feedback to patient through the sleeve of their shirt.
The exoskeleton is made from alloys and polymers to make it light and flexible.