Real-World Avatar: Man Controls Robot Thousands of Miles Away

Real-World Avatar: Man Controls Robot Thousands of Miles Away

By Gaia Smith

BAR-ILAN UNIVERSITY, ISRAEL. Student Tirosh Shapira controls a robot in France through fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) brain scans.

The brain scanning approach allowed robot control which is almost real-time. Like in the movie, Avatar, the controller has to lie inside the machine. The controller would also feel embodiment inside the robot, in contrast to the conventional joystick robot control. The illusion of embodiment was tested through a mirror test so Mr. Shapira saw his robot self in a mirror inside the French lab.


The invention has a long way to go before it can be used to help people. The scientists involved in the project are trying to refine it from using a lying-in machine to a brain scanning skull cap. The robot also has to be improved to have similar gait and posture as a real human.


Invention Virtual Embodiment and Robotic Re-Embodiment (VERE) International Project
Organization Beziers Technology Institute, France and Bar-Ilan University, Israel
Researcher Prof M. Slater
Field(s) Robotics
Further Information BBC News and TechnologyVERE Project EU

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