Deadline: 2020-03-20 Award: $50,000 Open to: Everyone*
Applications that are directly relevant to this Challenge are: to improve functionality (e.g. rehabilitate upper or lower limbs after a stroke), to replace human functions (e.g. BCI controlled neural prostheses) or to restore other human functions (e.g. unlocking those who have ‘locked-in’ syndrome or are unable to communicate).
BCI can be invasive or non-invasive but where the aim is to restore mobility, invasive procedures have been favored so far. Stimulating muscle by BCI-driven functional electrical stimulation while bypassing the central nervous system is a typical approach.
Non-invasive methods have traditionally had less reliable signals and less precise outcomes. However, 2019 saw the invention of the first-ever successful mind-controlled robotic arm to continuously track and follow a computer cursor. Bin He at Carnegie Melton University says this breakthrough using non-invasive signals could actually bring safe and affordable BCI to people needing assistive devices much like smartphones