Peter, one of our clients, is taking part in Cybathlon 2016 (www.cybathlon.ethz.ch), which is a Championship for Robot-Assisted Parathletes taking place in Switzerland in October next year. Peter has entered the Brain Computer Interface race, in which he will control an on-screen avatar around a race track using his thoughts. There are two parts to the competition, the race itself and also the development of the technology that will make it possible to control the avatar. Peter is expecting a delivery of a prototype of the equipment any day now so that he can test it out.
Peter has a spinal cord injury, and one of his motivations for getting involved in this project is to assist with the development of brain-computer interaction technology, as it has the potential to assist him and others in similar situations to operate equipment more efficiently in everyday life. Peter currently uses a voice activated environmental controller to control equipment in his home such as his television and telephone, and he uses a combination of voice recognition and a Headmouse to control his computer (a headmouse camera tracks a reflective dot on your forehead, allowing you to control the movement of the mouse pointer with your head movement). The development of brain-control technology may offer alternative ways of controlling these sorts of things in the future, which is an exciting prospect.
We at the Assistive Technology Team would like to wish Peter all the best in this competition, and we look forward to hearing the next instalment in the build-up to the big day!
For more information on Peter’s and the team’s preparations, go to www.tgm-cybathlon.com.