07.19.12

fMRI allows you to control a robot with just your thoughts.

Research earlier this year from the Advanced Virtuality Lab at the Interdisciplinary Center in Israel demonstrated that it is possible to control a virtual or robotic avatar with only your mind. While EEG human-computer interaction—like Emotiv—as well as eye-tracking and neural implants have been in use for quite some time, this research has tested an alternative and, arguably, less invasive way of tapping into your telekinetic powers. 

The downside is, well, you need an fMRI machine, which is expensive, large, and loud. Another obstacle with this technology is the response time. While fMRI is great for visualizing brain data, it relies on fluctuations in the blood-oxygen level of neurons. This 'BOLD' response, as it is known, takes several seconds to detect. So expect some lag, for now at least.