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Home Robotics: Technology, News & Trends Wyss Institute’s New Project Aims to Harness Brain Signals to Control Exoskeleton Suits

Wyss Institute’s New Project Aims to Harness Brain Signals to Control Exoskeleton Suits

Wyss center synapsuit brain signals exosuit

Researchers at the Wyss Center are working on a project to develop artificial intelligence algorithms that use brain signals to control lightweight garments.

The Synapsuit project aims to develop high-performance algorithms that can decode complex brain signals. In turn, these signals can control lightweight, soft, wearable outerwear that supports arm and hand movements in real-time. The Wyss team worked with local and international partners on the project, which aims to accelerate neurological rehabilitation.

“Neuroscience is rapidly merging with AI, allowing us to discover important patterns hidden inside seemingly chaotic brain signals,” said Dr. Kyuhwa Lee, principal investigator at the Wyss Center. Using cutting-edge machine learning methods, we aim to translate motor intentions into action, helping patients with motor disorders after spinal cord injury and stroke.

Wyss plans to continue working together to explore “new standards for near artificial intelligence technologies.” The group’s goal is to help people with severe upper limb motor disorders make arm and hand movements. To this end, the team plans to use flexible, high-density electrocardiogram electrodes to collect large amounts of clinical data and develop new artificial intelligence algorithms to decode movement intentions in patients with movement disorders.

More About the Wyss Center Exosuit Project

Wyss center featured

The components that make up the Synapsuit

One of the partners in the Outerwear project is Nuerosoft Bioelectronics, a manufacturer of brain-computer interface (BCI) technology.

“At Neurosoft Bioelectronics, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of BCI technology,” said Dr. Nicholas Vachikouras, CEO. “Our cutting-edge soft-implantable electrodes provide a novel way to record signals from previously unexplored brain regions. By integrating these electrodes into the Synapsuit project, we aim to significantly improve the ability to decode motor intent, thereby taking a critical step towards restoring functional mobility to those who need it most.”

Wyss says that combining algorithms with brain-control coats could accelerate the development of neurorehabilitation methods by supporting movement in stroke and spinal cord injury patients.

The team recorded brain signals using soft, foldable, flexible electrodes that can be adapted to any neural tissue. They then feed the signal into a neuro-artificial intelligence decoder, which sends instructions to the fully flexible soft coat. The coat sends electrical currents through transcutaneous nerve stimulation to control muscles that move directly in the arms and hands.

Combined with a special material called ES-clutch, the coat allows the arms and hands to remain in position on demand without causing fatigue.

Dr. Yun-Jae Won, lead researcher at the Korea Institute of Electronics Technology, said, “We want to develop a highly usable, practical exosuit that can be used in daily life by people living with motor disability.”

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