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Using a process called Affordance, which associates flickering objects with actions, researchers have been able to develop mind-controlled robots that can be directed to carry out specific tasks.
The CNRS-AIST Joint Robotics Laboratory is working with the CNRS-LIRMM Interactive Digital Human Group to create the mind-controlled robots using a Brain Computer Interface. The method the researchers use associates actions with objects. By bringing the object of choice to the robot’s attention, the human can induce certain actions with the robot such getting drinks, picking up certain objects and delivering items. Though these mind-controlled robots are still in development, researchers hope to improve the technology so that physically impaired patients such as paraplegics can use them for everyday tasks or even sightseeing in a foreign country and in a sense, to live somewhat vicariously through the machines.