Newton’s first law of motion is that an object in motion stays in motion. Although no one has proved this law applies to human work, the neural prosthetic group has hit the ground running and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Like last summer, we are split into a neural-focused group and an engineering-focused group. Both groups received a tour of the motion analysis lab from Dr. Bryon Ballantyne. A goal this summer is to figure out how to use this lab to simultaneously collect kinematic and neural data as people grasp for objects.
Thanks to the lovely manual last year’s group put together, the neural group was able to get the EEG up and running quickly. At the current time, we are reviewing the research to figure out how to analyze the data and seeing if a free brain-computer interface program we found is able to help us in the pursuit of this goal. If we are successful, the program is supposed to allow one to play Pong simply by thinking about moving the paddle, which would be awesome. Even more important to our research aims, the program has potential to help us break the one stream of neural data we’re now getting into simpler components.
The engineering group is finishing up the objects designed for grasping and the electrical circuit to tell us when and how much force is applied to the objects.
As long as no unbalanced forces act upon us, I’m confident both groups will have success as we move forward into the upcoming weeks.