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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Design graduate creates toy car you can control with your mind

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Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Credit: Dezeen)

Dutch design graduate Alejo Bernal has created a lightweight toy car that will only move forward when you achieve the right level of concentration.

We're not quite at the level of complex navigation using only neuronal activity, but electroencephalography (EEG) headsets have enabled people to do some pretty cool things, including piloting a quadcopter, just by thinking.

Recent graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven Alejo Bernal has brought a similar project to the ground. He has created a toy car that can be piloted forwards by thinking while the user wears a commercially available Neurosky EEG headset. However, the project isn't about performing manoeuvres but improving the wearer's concentration skills. As the wearer starts to concentrate on moving the car, light levels in the toy vehicle visualise neuronal activity, seen through its semi-transparent acrylic body.

"As you try to focus, the increased light intensity of the vehicle indicates the level of attention you have reached," Bernal told Dezeen. "Once the maximum level is achieved and retained for seven seconds, the vehicle starts moving forward. This project helps users to develop deeper, longer concentration by exercising the brain. It is possible for people to train or treat their minds through their own effort and not necessarily using strong medicines, such as ritalin."

So far, Bernal has only developed a working prototype as his graduation project, shown as part of Dutch Design Week earlier this month. As most graduation projects don't see a commercial release, we're not expecting Bernal's design to hit the consumer market. There's no denying, though, that we're itching to give it a try.


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