Many automobile companies have been working on futuristic car that you would be able to operate through your brain or mere thoughts. We have probably seen specimens of these brain-driven cars in futuristic Hollywood movies, and now a group of Indian students has created a prototype as part of their college project.
Where it started
A though-controlled Brain-driver was tested in Germany in 2011, which was a demo application that opened a new vista for human-machine interface in autonomous driving. The project has not yet reached its fruition.
Now, a group of college kids from Mount Zion College has built the Think and Drive brain-driven hybrid car, which is equipped with the Emotiv EPOC BCI headset. The engineering and technology team has prepared the prototype.
Emotiv is a neuroengineering company that has developed interface technology for digital media taking inputs directly from the brain. The EEG headset uses a multi-channel electroencephalogram system and is used for a broad range of applications such as neurotherapy, brain-computer interface and biofeedback.
It uses the signal measured by the neuroheadset to interpret user’s thoughts in real-time. It connects wirelessly to PCs running on Windows or Mac OS X.
How it works
The Think and Drive car is an electric car, which uses solar power as well as electric supply to charge batteries. The car has been endowed with three driving modes –
- Normal steering
- Keyboard driving (as in the case of racing video games with arrows to point directions
- Think and Drive mode where thoughts like push, pull, left, right are captured via the Emotiv EEG headset and forwarded through a computer to the vehicle’s steering mechanism
About the prototype
The prototype is a minivan, which has solar panels mounted on top for charging the battery using solar energy. Inside the car, there is the regular steering wheel as well as space to mount a laptop, which is used for the brain-drive.
The main difference between the normal steering mode and BCI driving mode is the channel of communication between the motor cortex and the vehicle. In order to ensure a smooth drive, the driver will have to train the brain to give appropriate commands for the vehicle to move.
The components of the vehicle include PMDC motor engine, relay switch circuit, battery pack and solar charge controller, together with geared motor steer, Ardino Uno and solar panel.
The prototype of brain-driven hybrid car is not compact but a few refinements and the technology can be adopted onto any vehicle.