An Indian-origin scientist, Gaurav Sharma, 40, and his team in the US at Battelle, a Columbus-based R&D organisation have been tasked to develop a system that could ultimately allow a soldier to put on a helmet and use his mind to control multiple unmanned aerial vehicles or even a bomb disposal robot. They will develop a system that could allow a soldier to control multiple unmanned aerial vehicles or even a bomb disposal robot with his thoughts
The team has won a gigantic USD 20 million contract from Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Battelle began the first phase of the programme with USD 2 million in funding to demonstrate the core concept of the technology. If the team’s concept proves successful, Battelle will receive additional funding for the second and third phases of the programme. Importantly, Battelle's Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) programme for a minimally invasive neural interface system, has been named 'BrainSTORMS' (Brain System to Transmit Or Receive Magnetoelectric Signals). "This is one of the most exciting and challenging projects I have worked on…With BrainSTORMS, we will again be pushing the limits engineering and physics. If successful, this technology would not only provide a safe and efficient way to facilitate human machine interactions but also has the potential to revolutionise the study of the nervous system”, says the Indian-origin scientist on his project. Importantly, the Indian-origin scientist shot to fame after technology developed by his team enabled a quadriplegic man to move his hand using just his thoughts.
BrainSTORMS involves the development of a novel nanotransducer that could be temporarily introduced into the body via injection and then directed to a specific area of the brain to help complete a task through communication with a helmet-based transceiver. Upon completion, the nanotransducer will be magnetically guided out of the brain and into the bloodstream to be processed out of the body.