After having an accident and spending 24 hours paralyzed, Dr Jordan Nguyen vowed to focus his research career on helping people with disabilities. He spend his time learning about neuroscience, medical science, robotics, artificial intelligence and biomedical instrumentation in order to create devices that can convert brain signals into actions such as motor movements.
Using an artificial intelligence system, Dr Nguyen was able to create a program that focuses on changes in thoughts prompting a wheelchair to move. For example, the user would imagine a certain object and that would result in specific brain signals, which can be determined by the programmed and be associated with a particular action such as moving the wheelchair forward.
The wheelchair has been trialed on people with mid-range quadriplegia, who were able to quickly learn how to guide it through a moving obstacle course.
Dr Nguyen aims to make the wheelchair affordable and also adapt the technology to prosthetic limbs.
Watch this presentation by Dr Jordan Nguyen at TEDxTheRocks, talking about the Enabling technology and the Mind-controlled Wheelchair.
Also checkout this post about a special music instrument created by Dr Jordan Nguyen that helped a girl with Cerebral Palsy playing music with her eyes.