Swiss Mind Control Robot Offers Hope For Real Life 'Avatar'

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SWISS MIND CONTROL ROBOT AVATAR
A scientist waves to Mark-Andre Duc, a partially tetraplegic patient, at Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, April 24, 2012. From the hospital 100 kilometers (62 miles) away, Duc, imagined lifting his fingers to direct a robot. Swiss scientists demonstrated with this test how a partially paralyzed person can control a robot using brain signals alone. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus) | AP

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- Swiss scientists have demonstrated how a partially paralyzed person can control a robot using brain signals alone.

The team at Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne says the experiment takes them a step closer to enabling immobile patients to easily interact with their surroundings through a robot "avatar."

Tuesday's demonstration involved a partially tetraplegic patient at a hospital in the southern Swiss town of Sion who imagined lifting his fingers to direct a robot at the university 100 kilometres away.

Similar experiments have taken place in the United States and Germany but they either involved able-bodied patients or invasive brain implants, while the Swiss team used only a simple head cap to record the brain signals.

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