Below is a TEDx presentation given by Henry Evans. After suffering a “stroke like illness” in 2003 this man became a mute, quadriplegic. I cannot understand the scope of the suffering this man has endured, but if there is one thing I’m now well aquatinted with its the loss of control that must limit him.
Watch the video, its well worth your time.
My current NaNoWriMo project is ostensibly about a near future where humanity continues to get it wrong. Counterfeit Horizon details a world where a lot of clever people fail to solve some basic and pervasive problems with some very powerful and innovative technology.
This presentation filled me with some hope, because Evans, despite his physical limitations seems to be spearheading these kinds of solutions.
Now take the rudimentary interface that Evans is working with and imagine a neural harness, similar to a Cochlear implant, that could be used to translate (area 4) motor cortex impulses into goal-directed movements in robotic systems such as a quad-rotor aircraft craft. Or take that scenario another step further where the driver’s body is located within an autonomous robotic vehicle that would, at least in part, allow guys like Evans some free range.