Scientists have been working on developing brain and computer interface. Recently, they could do that without the mess created in the process. To achieve it, they developed a novel EEG (Electroencephalogram) electrode. The electrode does not need the conventional gel to make controlling devices a possibility. This gel is not easy to wash out and can cause skin irritation in some cases. Besides, so far, presence of hair has interfered with signal receptivity. The device under discussion addresses the problem well as it can work on a hairy head.
The development doesn’t just help in removing the mess. Researchers feel that these flexible electrodes might sometime in the future help drive cars. Also, these might be able to facilitate artificial limb movement. Beside, since these are used to diagnose seizures. Sometimes, they are also used to diagnose other neurological disorders as they can track brain wave patterns and record them for analysis. Therefore, it not just helps patients but is also paving the way for enabling control of devices using brain waves.
Researchers used a melamine sponge which is commercially available and inserted silver nanowires into it to make electrodes. Therefore, the cost was really low – 12 cents (approximately). This allows it to be mass produced in the future. To add on, these electrodes are not just stable but also resistant to external factors like sweat and heat.
Once researches readied the electrodes, the put them into a silicon cap and analysed performance. They used people with both shaved and hairy heads to get results and the results were as accurate on hairy ones as on shaved ones. The contributor, if not the reason behind can be the flexibility of electrodes.
Moreover, during the experiment, one of the subjects could control toys with her brain. She could move a play car forward and backward as well as left and right.