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Social networks to be accessible for people with disabilities

22.06.2017

Russian development will allow paralyzed people to communicate in social networks with the help of "thought power".

People who have lost the ability to speak and move will be able to communicate in social networks. This summer, Russia will begin testing the world's first device, which will allow paralyzed to correspond in VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, Facebook and other similar venues.

The Russian company Neurochat (part of the cluster NeuroNet of the National Technological Initiative) has developed a device that registers the electrical activity of the brain, which will allow people with disabilities to chat in social networks. "If a person does not speak and does not move, he will be able to chat with this system," said Alexander Kaplun, co-owner of Neurochat, head of the laboratory of neurophysiology and neurointerfaces of the biological faculty at Moscow State University.

The headset with electrodes is put on the user's head and wirelessly - via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth - connects to a computer, tablet or smartphone. Special software allows you to register electrical potentials of brain activity and convert them to the appropriate command: for example, type the letter E. The speed is about 5-6 characters per minute. But the company hopes that they will be able to bring the print speed to one character per second.

Evgeniy Chepin, deputy head of MEPhI department "Computer systems and technologies", is sure that it will be possible to reach the input speed in one symbol per second only after a long training of the user.

"The system's prospects with a printing speed of five characters per minute are not obvious," the expert said. “It is difficult to say if it is possible to significantly increase the speed, you need to conduct experiments." The idea does not seem fantastic, it needs to be implemented, Yevgeny Chepin believes.

In the world every year there are more and more technical devices that allow people with limited abilities to be maximally mobile and independent on others.

In particular, a project is implemented in MEPhI with the grant support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research that allows you to connect a person to a robotic life support system. The hardware-software robotic complex "Armchair" gives the possibility to control the system with the help of the brain-machine interface, voice commands and gestures of the operator-invalid.

"The University's developments have become a module for the creation of a new robotic system, which focuses on partial rehabilitation of patients with severe mobility limitations,” Yevgeny Chepin said. “Even the completely paralyzed people can control the "Armchair". In addition, reading the signals of the cerebral cortex, recognizing gestures and voice commands, the system functions more accurately and safely, since it has several channels of communication with a person.”

 

Photo: insideua.info

 

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