Sure, brain wave-controlled robots, music, mobile phones, and games give us tech lust, but Toyota's announcement that it's developed a way to control a wheel chair—without the need for movement or voice—fills me with equal amounts of awesome.
Seeing technology applied in a field that has the potential to help so many makes for a nice change sometimes, ya know? The breakthrough comes from scientists at the BSI-Toyota Collaboration centre, which teams various groups including Toyota Motor and the mostly-Japanese-government-funded RIKEN research unit).
At this stage, the system centres on an electroencephalograph (EEG) scanner cap that the wheelchair user wears so their brain waves can be scanned and analyzed by a computer. The result is the ability to make movements almost in real time. Stopping is reportedly a little harder, with the user having to puff up a cheek to trigger a detector worn on the face. Still, that's pretty freakn'cool. [Jalopnik]