mind thought control wheel chairs

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mind thought control wheel chairs

Postby trital2 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:54 pm

My invention was a mind reading wheel chair for completely paralyzed people.So when you put this wireless hat that connects to your wheel chair and computer you can control your wheel chair and access your computer(ex. go online)simply by using your brain waves(thinking about it). If this is already invented if not is this a good invention
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Project Question: My invention is a wheelchair for totally paralyzed people that you wear a special hat and it reads your brain waves,sends the information to a small computer which controls the wheelchair. This is so you don't have to use a mouth controlled device. Is this already invented if not is it a good idea?
Project Due Date: 11/1/10
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: mind thought control wheel chairs

Postby mpphlipot » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:07 pm

Hi trital2,
I have seen a couple projects at the International Science and Engineering Fair that addressed a similar concept. For example, I recall a project where the user put on a special hat and was able to control the computer mouse cursor by thinking about which direction they wanted it to move.

I also found a couple articles on the web that describes how Toyota has done exactly what you are proposing – brain control of a wheelchair:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/167525/t ... chair.html
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 101848.htm

Don’t let that discourage you, though. Science and technology is moving so fast these days that it is extremely difficult to come up with brand new ideas without years of research. Many successful science projects repeat what others have done – to verify conclusions – or slightly change the project to come up with a unique variation. In fact, it looks like from the articles that Toyota didn’t originate the idea of a brain-controlled wheelchair, either. Rather, they found a way to make the concept more practical by improving training and response times.

The concept of controlling things with the brain is an area of science referred to as BMI (brain-machine interface) or BCI (brain-computer interface). Wikipedia has a lengthy article on the subject with over 50 references:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_Machine_Interface

I recommend you take a look at the Wiki article and a few of the references to learn about some of the challenges that scientists are facing in the area of BMI/BCI research. Rather than tackle the large project of controlling a wheelchair, perhaps you can identify a particular problem area and come up with a science project that tries to address it.

Best of luck!
Mike
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Re: mind thought control wheel chairs

Postby hhemken » Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:49 am

Hi trital2,

I agree with mpphlipot, don't be discouraged if an invention similar to your own already exists.

1) If yours functions in a significantly different way, in the eyes of the US Patent Office, it would still be patentable and competitive.
2) If your invention is better, faster, cheaper, easier to manufacture and/or support, or easier to evolve and add new functionality, it will be more competitive
3) This is a Science Fair, so we expect you to show us what you can do and what new twists you can propose. As long as you aren't just plagiarizing, you're fine

My only concern about such a project is whether you can actually build a prototype that demonstrates some actual control of a wheel chair in the manner you describe. Do you already have such a thing?

Don't lose heart, make your dreams come true!
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Re: mind thought control wheel chairs

Postby trital2 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:08 pm

how about this idea a wheelchair where you wear a hat that reads your brain waves and controls a arm on the side of your wheelchair to follow simple commands such as : pick up glass, brush teeth, brush hair, open doors, etc.
trital2
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:15 pm
Occupation: student
Project Question: My invention is a wheelchair for totally paralyzed people that you wear a special hat and it reads your brain waves,sends the information to a small computer which controls the wheelchair. This is so you don't have to use a mouth controlled device. Is this already invented if not is it a good idea?
Project Due Date: 11/1/10
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: mind thought control wheel chairs

Postby hhemken » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:03 am

Hi trital2,

Those are very complex commands.

If you manage to build a device that can consistently raise and lower a mechanical arm without doing anything else you will have done something very significant and possibly patentable. Even making a cursor move around a computer screen consistently and accurately by means of brain waves would be a very big deal.

What do you have so far? What are the actual designs, hardware components, and software you plan to use?
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Re: mind thought control wheel chairs

Postby trital2 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:50 pm

Just to let you know my project says I need a response if it is a good idea and if not how could i make it better and
I am only 11 turning 12 on Christmas.
trital2
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:15 pm
Occupation: student
Project Question: My invention is a wheelchair for totally paralyzed people that you wear a special hat and it reads your brain waves,sends the information to a small computer which controls the wheelchair. This is so you don't have to use a mouth controlled device. Is this already invented if not is it a good idea?
Project Due Date: 11/1/10
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: mind thought control wheel chairs

Postby hhemken » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:10 pm

trital2,

Just so you know, I'm a dreamer. I'm always dreaming of things that are like castles in the sky. I'm also an employee at a high-tech company, where we get paid to turn dreams into products. That is a tough process, because you always have to cut away a lot of the shiny stuff from your dream, and only leave the little kernel that can actually be made into a working product in a reasonable amount of time. That's the stage where you are now.

Thought-controlled wheelchairs do not currently exist, so that is a fantastic idea, one that would make you rich and help millions of people around the world. However, they don't exist because many of the things you need to make one haven't been invented yet, or are very complicated and expensive, or only exist in big, hairy and impractical prototypes at big-time research institutions. Translation: an 11 year old with a budget of $100 and a few months is not going to beat them to the punch.

Nevertheless, you only need to do what the big guys do: divide and conquer. The people who are working on thought-controlled vehicles and machines start out with the simplest possible devices. For example, they get an alpha wave headset that can be attached to a computer, and write the simplest possible computer program that will move a cursor or something on the computer screen with the brain waves that are being read in from the headset.

Think about it: Once you can write a program that can move a cursor, you are only a few steps away from raising and lowering a mechanical arm. Once you can raise and lower a mechanical arm, you are only a few steps away from making it also swivel on a base. Once you can do that, etc. etc. See what I mean? If you do the simplest possible thing now and each year add something new and enter it in a science fair, by the time you are a senior in high school you may well have a chair that can go forwards and backwards and turn left or right using brain waves. You may also have a mechanical arm that can grab something and move it around in some simple way. If you can get there by the end of high school, the sky is the limit after that!

Divide and conquer means one step at a time. You might as well start now. Do you know what you could use to read brain waves into a computer? Do you know any programming languages? Make sure you know how to do an engineering project(http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... ring.shtml).
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Re: mind thought control wheel chairs

Postby trital2 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:37 pm

Thank you so much for your really great response to my son. It was full of information but better yet full of inspiration!! My son has a glow and thinks that he has a great idea that needs some work but is a start. who knows maybe you will read about him some day and his amazing invention. Thank you for the kind and wise words...they meant the world to my son...who by the way has taken this idea and run wild with it. The sky is the limit !!! thank you
trital2
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:15 pm
Occupation: student
Project Question: My invention is a wheelchair for totally paralyzed people that you wear a special hat and it reads your brain waves,sends the information to a small computer which controls the wheelchair. This is so you don't have to use a mouth controlled device. Is this already invented if not is it a good idea?
Project Due Date: 11/1/10
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: mind thought control wheel chairs

Postby hhemken » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:43 pm

Happy to oblige!
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