Technology has been developing so fast. It is followed by the human development. It is also followed by human needs. Regarding to that fact, health is one of the most important needs for human. People will not be okay unless they are in a good state, mind and soul, and body of course. To shorten and to ease everything up, technology is there to support the human needs toward health; and wheelchair is one of the answers.
The Robotic Parts of Wheelchair
In Bali, Indonesia, there was a hearsay about a man called Wayan Sutawan who has robotic arms. Despite the rumors that haven’t been enough proven yet, don’t be skeptical towards this one invention of LIPI or Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (Indonesian Science Institution) called robotic wheelchair that can be moved using the power of mind. You just have to think, and voila!
As if living in a robotic world, people can use this wheelchair to make sure that they can move without moving. The technology is still developed by Indonesian Science Institution. But, they believe that in the next two or three years, the development will be significant and can be used as a signal to finally use the wheelchair for good. It does sound impossible and surreal, but yet, technology has once again won.
Wheelchair of Mind
When you read this article, one question may immediately pop up in your head: “How is a wheelchair move by mind?” So, there are basically some important element in the wheelchair. The first is signal catcher electrode from brains that is installed in a helmet or head cover. Total there are 32 electrodes. The helmet will be functioned as a signal transmitter, allowing the patient to think and move the wheel.
In the back of the wheelchair, there is a ware to strengthen signals. Brain signals have less than 60 microvolt tension so that it has to be strengthened to make enough power to move a thing. The file of strengthened signals will be input to the computer. A special application developed by Indonesian Science Institution is used to extract and identify the signals.
“The purpose of extracting the signals is to know the characteristics of signals used, how much the frequency is, how much the amplitude is,” Said one of the researcher from Instrumentation Development Institution, involved in the making of this special wheelchair. And then, the chosen signal will be sent to the control section. This controller is the one that will command the wheelchair to move.
How Does It Feel to Move Something Using the Mind?
It is difficult. As complicated as it sounds just by reading the process above, it does feel like a hundred time better to just use your legs, your hands, using natural signal transferring to your brains. Probably, this is the part when you will feel thankful for everything you have got, for everything you feel every time you wake up in the morning. Back to the business, how is the wheelchair difficult?
One of journalist one tried and he said it was very difficult for him to imagine moving to the left and to the right in turn. However, when the imagination has appeared, the wheelchair is not moving the way he wanted. It was not moving exactly. Thus, to help moving the wheelchair, an image is shown in a laptop. The image is simple, there are only a box in the left, in the right, in the above, and in the under.
“There is a technology that is pure using your mind to control. But that is difficult to develop. It always takes time. But we hope to work on some significant progress in the next two or three years, that will be in 2019. Hopefully.” Said the researcher from Instrumentation Development Institution.