This Painting Robot Could Someday Help Paralyzed People Interact With the World Using Just Their Eyes

Researchers develop new robotic technology that acts like an extra arm, and can be controlled with nothing more than blinks and glances.

image via youtube screen capture

British researchers have unveiled a new robotics system which allows users to control a flexible, highly-functional mechanical arm using nothing but the movement of their eyes. The system represents not only a significant advance in the burgeoning field of human-machine interactive research, but also offers a glimpse at what might someday be an important technology for those with physical conditions which restrict their movement.

Lead by Dr Aldo Faisal, engineers from Imperial College London developed the experimental software system, which tracks ocular movement, translating it into smooth, natural(ish) robotic movement. In a video showcasing his research, Dr. Faisal explains that the technology was originally designed as a way to “augment, extend the human body with additional limbs that are useful in daily life.” ICL student Sabine Dziemian then demonstrates how the system responds to her shifting glances, and purposeful blinking, in order to create an oil painting using multiple colors and brush-strokes.

However domestic the conceptual genesis of this technology might be, its application has the potential to extend far beyond being simply an “extra pair of hands.” For quadriplegics or those who might otherwise not have the use of their arms, the ability to effortlessly guide a robotic avatar by simply moving their eyes could open entire worlds of self-sufficiency. While the technology is not there yet, advances such as these should be heartening for anyone looking to the world of robotics as a means not only to improve everyday productivity, but to genuinely help those among us for whom mobility and dexterity are a challenge. To that end, Dr. Faisal’s eye-directed mechanical arm joins other types of bio-adaptive mechanics, such as thought-controlled wheelchairs and feeling prosthetic limbs, designed to work with existing human physiology in order to seamlessly merge body, and bot.

[via gizmag]


Seventy-five years ago, on January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

Auschwitz was the deadliest of Nazi Germany's 20 concentration camps. From 1940 to 1945 of the 1.3 million prisoners sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million died. That figure includes 960,000 Jews, 74,000 non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other Europeans.

The vast majority of the inmates were murdered in the gas chambers while others died of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and executions.

Keep Reading
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
via Stu Hansen / Twitter

In a move that feels like the subject line of a spam email or the premise of a bad '80s movie, online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa is giving away money as a social experiment.

Maezawa will give ¥1 million yen ($9,130) to 1,000 followers who retweeted his January 1st post announcing the giveaway. The deadline to retweet was Tuesday, January 7.

Keep Reading