In a step towards thought-controlled wheelchairs, researchers at the University of Tokyo have built a small vehicle that carries a rat and is controlled via the rat's brain signals. In the experiment the researchers first recorded the rat's brain signals via tiny electrodes implanted in its brain and the recorded the vehicle's movements. They then suspended the rat under the vehicle and fed its brain signals to the vehicles motors.
Six of the eight rats tested were able to successfully navigate the vehicle, indicating a working neural control. While the current results are promising, suspending the rat under the vehicle made it automatically move along with the vehicle, which prevented the researchers from measuring the rats real movement intentions.
More at our colleagues at the IEEE Spectrum's blog: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robo ... interfaces