Researchers are now working on wireless flexible electronics as thin as human hair, that can read brain activity. Such devices, they claim, will enable humans to control machines and communicates just by thoughts. By using award-winning technology epidermal electronics,scientists have created these 100 micron thick devices – brain machine interfaces – barely visible on skin and hence pretty easy to conceal from others.
We have seen patients controlling robotics body parts through brain implants, but that is an invasive technology – suitable for those who need them medically. Epidermal electronics are expected to eliminate need of such invasive technologies and of conventional devices being used to measure neural signals, which rely on rigid or mildly flexible construction and bulky cables for signal conduction.
Two teams of researchers, one led by Todd Coleman and another by John Rogers at UIUC, are developing foldable, stretchable electrode arrays that can non-invasively measure neural signals (i.e. EEG) without the need for gel. These can be used as epidermal electronics and like the temporary tattoos, devices built can be applied on the forehead for reading brain activity.
Capable of detecting electrical signals linked with brain waves, these devices also incorporate solar cells for power and antennas that allow them to communicate wireless-ly or receive energy. Previously, Coleman and team had found that volunteers could remotely control airplanes by using caps studded with electrodes. They flew an unmanned aerial vehicle over cornfields in Illinois. Though practicability of the electronic tattoos is not proven for piloting planes, Coleman says his team is actively working on that.
Via: The Watchers