Robots controlling humans, a glimpse into the future
Something that society has grown more accustomed to when it comes to technological breakthroughs are man’s abilities to control things, such as machines or even robots. What if the roles were reversed, and man was controlled by machines? Sounds like something out of a movie, right? Well, this role reversal may not be that far off.
A French research team from Montpellier Laboratory of Informatics, Robotics, and Microelectronics has been able to do just that. In a demonstration, they are able to show that a robot can control a human, by controlling their arm to move objects.
This is accomplished by sending small electrical currents to electrodes taped to the person’s forearm and biceps, which allows it to command the elbow and hand to move. The demonstration shows proof of concept, that one day this could be possible on a wider and defined scale.
Practical uses could be for people that can’t move their legs, are paralyzed or immobile. A robot could use their bodies to help accomplish certain tasks that normally that person would never be able to do. The name for this is known as Functional Electrical Stimulation or FES.
The research team also says that with this technique FES, there is more precision in the movements when you have two cooperating entities, the robot and the human. I wonder, what if the human tries to stop the movements and actions, will the FES override the human brain?
This type of technology and practical use is a long ways away, but this shows a huge advancement in human-robotic technology. Let’s just hope that one day, the robots don’t take over!