Brain-computer interface tech catches on, used in education and medical science

Global Times

01:47, August 23, 2019(GTM +8)

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A researcher tests the stability of the brain-computer interface system in 2017. (Photo: VCG)

Industry insiders said that the brain-computer interface (BCI) has caught on in China, after the technology underwent tests and has been used in education and medical science.

The third China BCI Competition, also known as the BCI brain-controlled robot competition, is being held at the World Robot Conference 2019 in Beijing from Tuesday to Sunday, the Science and Technology Daily reported.

"More than 2,000 people are competing in the preliminary round compared with only 500 or 600 at previous competitions," Wu Xinlei, one of the leading members of the Chinese Institute of Electronics and competition sponsor, told the Global Times on Thursday, adding that only 40 players will qualify to the finals. 

The five-day conference features the latest products in advanced robotics and automation.

Using motor imagery, players will don electronic helmets and use their minds to imagine moving their left or right hand. The helmets can recognize players' intention through BCI technology and their virtual left or right hands on the computer screen will make the corresponding movements. 

"We will summarize and analyze the big data of the player's thought patterns and behavior to improve the BCI technology and expand its applications," Wu noted.

Huang Xiaoshan, general manager of the neural technology company Neuracle said that the BCI technology has begun its clinical application stage in the medical field, and has been applied in education and entertainment.

The technology can also be used to guide drones, assist the disabled control their wheelchairs and type, and help in drug abuse rehabilitation, Wu said.