Technology with attitude

Thought-Controlled Bobsleigh Not Only for Disabled Athletes

As part of the warm-up to this summer’s Paralympics in London, engineering students at Imperial College designed new types of sporting equipment, for people with disabilities. Earlier this month they showcased the protoypes, including a mind-controlled bobsleigh, at an exhibition of gadgets focusing on the future of Paralympic sports.One of the most exciting entries at the exposition was “Brainsled”, that allows able-bodied and disabled athletes to control a bobsleigh via an EEG helmet (looks like the Emotiv EPOC on the photo) which enables users to drive the bob left or right just by thinking.


The electronic signals from the electrodes are fed into the bobsleigh’s rudder.

“When we started the project we said to the students: ‘It can’t be Marvel (comics), it can’t be Quidditch (a game in the Harry Potter films), but it has to have something of that in there.’ It’s all about imagination, and for the students here, that is their currency,” a course tutor at Imperial College, told CNN.

The challenge has been sponsored by Rio Tinto (provider of the metal for medals at London Olympics and Paralympics) which awarded a £5,000 ($8,000) development prize to the most promising design. The exhibition was held in the Main Entrance of Imperial College from 5-9 March 2012.

Read the full story on CNN.

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