Human-machine Interfaces

Human-Machine InterfacesHuman-Machine Interfaces

Computers existed for decades, but did not become popular until user-friendly interfaces were developed. Computing power has doubled every 18 months since then, but user interfaces have not undergone such frequent revolutions. Therefore, it is possible that we are only using a fraction of the computational power available to us. New advances in ways we interface with computers will allow our ability to utilize computers to advance by leaps and bounds.

David Bychkov is working on sensors that can enhance our connectivity to the world. He is developing products that measure our health, emotional and vital sign information which is then easily transmitted to wireless devices such as smart phones. Click here to lean more about David Bychkov’s research projects.

Brain-Machine InterfacesBrain-Machine Interfaces

The most direct way of communicating with a computer would be through a direct interface with the brain. This would allow people to engage with machines more efficiently than ever before, but the benefits wouldn’t stop there. Brain-machine interfaces would open avenues of communication for people who previously had none. Imagine, for example, people with paralysis, being able to direct robotic limbs. Even those in a coma, who previously would have had no way to communicate with others, would be able to talk again.

David Eagleman does research in neurology and envisions a future where novel sensory inputs can be connected to the brain. Click here to lean more about David Eagleman’s research projects.

Electronic ProstheticsElectronic Prosthetics

Every year, thousands of people lose limbs to disease and injury. Transplants are hard to come by and involve the risk of rejection, and while artificial limbs are available, they are often cumbersome, move unnaturally and lack feeling. Therefore, it would be desirable to create electronic prosthetics that could receive commands directly from the patient’s nervous system and deliver sensory data back along the same route. Short of regrowing the lost limb, this would be the best replacement.

Sheila Nirenberg studies how light-sensitive microchips can be connected to the brain to allow blind people to see. Click here to lean more about Dr. Nirenberg’s research projects.