Young Bosnian Designs Mind-Controlled Wheelchair

Over 15 clubs took part in a big competition in the Ivory Coast

May 30th, 2016

Dalibor Dumic is a young man with a hearing disability. When he was taking his first steps in the field of engineering, he never imagined it would bring him to where he now is. This young man's courage and positive attitude changed his life, and the lives of other people around him.

Dumic, 22, a student at the Burch University in Sarajevo, told BIRN that the project is part of his final graduation project.

"I have seen similar projects about controlling robotic hands and I want to implement this concept in a wheelchair, which could be useful for fully immobile people," he explained.

The project consists of three key components: a sensor to detect neural activity, software, and hardware which is necessary for controlling the wheelchair.

The sensor would be placed on the scalp and scan neural activity from the brain, Dumic explained. Neural activity would then be amplified and sent to the software, installed on a Windows 10 tablet.

The software would get the data from the sensor, process them through an algorithm and give the final commands to the hardware, embedded in the wheelchair.

"The idea is not about reading people's mind, it's more about reading their neural activity and reacting to changes of parameters of this signal," Dumic said, noting that the project "should be ready by the end of the year. "My wish is to make it simple and affordable, so it could be helpful, especially for people here in Bosnia," he stressed.

Although Bosnia in recent years has experienced a boom in the IT sector, Dumic, who is now also part of the Microsoft Student Partners - a worldwide program designed by Microsoft to sponsor students majoring in disciplines related to technology - noted that developing his skills in his home country was a hard task.

Part of the problem is the fact that since his birth, Dumic has suffered an almost total loss of hearing, which was a major obstacle in Bosnia's educational system.

"People here tend to turn a blind eye to these kinds of issues," he noted.

However, although many young persons are leaving Bosnia to find jobs abroad, Dumic told BIRN that he sees his future in his home country. "I want to become an innovative and helpful part of our community," he said, blaming the environment in Bosnia for being "too pessimistic“. "People here are usually pessimistic and this is why this country can't improve a lot of good things happened recently but most people can't see it because pessimistic news dominate, destroying people's inspiration," he concluded.





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Nela Pejkovic, CD News