Medical motivation

It is important to understand the difference between VR users and the main targeted community for BMI. The field of BMI has rapidly developed because it may give mobility to people who suffer from neuromuscular disabilities [351]. Examples include driving a wheelchair and moving a prosthetic limb by using thoughts alone. The first mental control system was built by Jacques Vidal in the 1970s [331,332], and since that time many systems have been built using several kinds of neural signals. In all cases, it takes a significant amount of training and skill to operate these interfaces. People with motor disabilities may be highly motivated to include hours of daily practice as part of their therapy routine, but this would not be the case for the majority of VR users. One interesting problem in training is that trainees require feedback, which is a perfect application of VR. The controller in the VR system is essentially replaced by the output of the signal processing system that analyzes the neural signals. The user can thus practice moving a virtual wheelchair or prosthetic limb while receiving visual feedback from a VR system. This prevents them from injuring themselves or damaging equipment or furnishings while practicing.

Steven M LaValle 2016-12-31