Baxter the Brain Bot

By Natalie Sherwood

HC Tiger Times

March 3, 2017

           When you were younger, did you ever wish you had a personal robot to do your homework, chores, basically anything you wanted? Thanks to a team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it may be possible! A feedback system developed at MIT enables human operators to correct any mistake made by the robot in that exact moment it’s being made, using only their brain signals. Using data from electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring, a diagnostic technique used in certain patients with epilepsy or seizures, the system can detect if the operator notices an error as the robot performs an object-sorting task.

           In order to gain success from this specific technique, you must wear an EEG cap, so Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory’s system (CSAIL) can monitor can read and record your brain activity. The machine algorithms classifies brain waves in milliseconds. “As you watch the robot, all you have to do is mentally agree or disagree with what it is doing. You don’t have to train yourself to think in a certain way — the machine adapts to you, and not the other way around.”, explains CSAIL Director Daniela Rus. The team will continue enhancing the feedback system until it can understand more complex tasks and choices. Rus and her team believe this method could advance more technology with greater ability. Although you may be too old for baxter when he’s ready to do your chores, future generations can benefit. If interested in donating, please visit MIT’s Unrestricted Fund, a campaign for a better world.





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