Patients with a wide range of chronic conditions and diseases can find it challenging to interact with devices that rely on traditional interfaces such as keyboards or touch screens. Spoken commands can fit some needs, but another promising approach is the use of eye commands, as we’ve covered here in the past.
Researchers at Imperial College of London have developed a robot that can paint pictures, relying on the user’s gaze to control the device. The user can direct the robot to dip the brush in different colors of paint, and then maneuver the brush around the canvas to create an image. While the painting application may not seem particularly practical, it serves as a demonstration of how the eye control can work. It is easy to see how this technology could control robotic devices to extend the capabilities of patients with limited mobility or muscle control.
The eye control could also be applied to non-robotic devices. For example, smart devices in a home could respond to eye gaze commands that could turn lights on or off, adjust thermostat settings, send an alert to a caregiver, or other useful tasks.