Paralysed teen to kick off World Cup with mind-controlled robotic suit
A paralysed teen will use a mind-controlled robotic suit to help stand, walk and make the opening kick in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The suit is an exoskeleton prosthetic created by Duke University Neuroscience professor Dr Miguel Nicolelis.
Dr Nicolelis, a Brazilian scientist and physician, is one of the leading researchers in the field of brain machine interfaces(BMI), which studies how brain waves can be used to control external machines or even send information to another brain.
His projects include teaching monkeys how to use their minds to control two virtual arms and
enabling rats to send sensation and motor information from their brain to the brain of another rat.
In 2008, his lab successfully trained a monkey at Duke to use his brain to make a robot in Japan to walk on a treadmill without even seeing the robot itself.
Dr Nicolelis’s lab has partnered with UC-Davis, University of Kentucky and other labs in Germany, Brazil and Switzerland as part of the non-profit, Walk Again Project which hopes to ultimately give paralysed patients the chance to move and feel the world again.
A small group of teens is in training now for the World Cup ceremony, and the kicker will be selected in upcoming months.
The kick will be seen around the world as well as a glimpse of the next era of human-machine interactions.