RISC co-hosts ‘Mind the Gap’ to overcome disabilities by linking minds to machines

29 June 2019 – Research & Innovation for Sustainability Center (RISC) and BCI Lab co-hosted ‘Mind the Gap’, a workshop on innovative technology that can allow people with disabilities live independently.

A full day of presentations and activities at RISC covered the latest developments in the brain-computer interface (BCI). BCI technology enables brain signals to directly control machines, so people with paralysis can regain movement.

The morning session featured 4 speakers: Assoc. Prof. Yodchanan Wongsawat, director of BCI Lab; Group Capt. Paradorn Koomsup, a former pilot who has created jobs for people with disabilities in agriculture; Ms. Nalutporn Krairiksh, the editor of who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA); and Mr. Pongsakorn Wechakarn, a biomedical engineer from BCI Lab.

In the afternoon, participants explored the technology through 4 activities.

BCI 101 introduced definitions and how brains can be linked to computers in different ways. Functional Electrical Simulation 101 covered how electrical signals can control movement.

Participants then competed in Focus Master, pushing the avatar of their opponent through brain activity alone. Brain Racing then engaged teams of 4 in a race where they guided their character across the finish line by thought.

RISC and BCI Lab aim to spark research and spread awareness so BCI technology can develop further, helping people with disabilities live independent lives.