Earlier this year we posted about Thinker Thing, a creative group from Chile, crossing BCI technology with 3D printing to create objects with the power of the mind. According to Thinker Thing, for the very first time a real object was successfully created with the mind by their CTO George Lakowsky on 8th May, 2013.Using an Emotiv EPOC brain-computer interface headset Lakowsky was able to form a 3D shape by directing virtual ‘evolutionary mutations’ with his mind. It’s a major milestone in Thinker Thing’s government funded project to build a machine which allows anyone to create real objects using their mind.
“George was able to control an evolutionary process that grows a 3D object using the small electrical impulses detectable in the brain. This evolving model is created in a form that can be read by the latest 3D printers, which allows us to create real physical objects directed by your mind.”
The project also aims to teach scientific, art and engineering principles to very young children in remote rural regions in Chile. The Invention is already funded by the prestigious Start Up Chile program. The project is expected to be completed in June when the prototype will be taken on a tour of the rural regions of Chile to allow disadvantaged children to be the first in the world to create complete objects with their mind.
The children from each of these regions will create their own fantastical creatures of the mind. Thinker Things machine then makes these creatures into real physical objects. “We expect children from different parts of the world will create vastly different creatures that, in some small way, reflect the environment in which they were born. This gave us our idea, to create a school outreach program and exhibition for the fantastical creatures these children create. I was lucky enough to have an excellent & free education in a rural part of England where I was born, so we wanted to involve remote, free to attend, schools here in Chile ”
The team is hoping to raise enough funds through their Indiegogo campaign to mount an exhibition of the creations of these children.
Objects with the mind – is it possible?
Wondering how is it possible to create a real object with the mind? With Thinker Thing’s system it’s quite easy actually. The machine can be used by anyone, young or old, they just need to wear the EPOC headset enabling to transfer the brain patterns to a computer. Based on the unique brainwave data the computer program ‘evolves’ a 3D model from a ‘genetic seed’, which can then be made real with a standard 3D printer.
The evolutionary process is based on each object’s own ‘DNA’. The user’s mind only determines how the objects mutate over each ‘generation’. In this way, over a short period, the user grows a model using their mind.
According to Thinker Thing, “the DNA seed defines the start point of an evolutionary chain for the object. Dinosaurs are very diverse, for example, but they can be traced back to a single common DNA ancestor. We create this first DNA definition as the first building block from which all future objects evolve. The DNA of the object is then mutated over each generation, and how well that new mutation does, whether it lives or dies, is determined by the mind.”
To follow the Indiegogo campaign or get involved in the project visit: