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How could someone create a suit of mecha that could be controlled with one's mind?

Looking at different methods of building such technology using near future technology. The mecha would be 18 feet tall.

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closed as too broad by nzaman, L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica, sphennings, Slarty, Mołot Nov 11 '17 at 16:11

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  • $\begingroup$ In what ways could a user "control" the armor? Edit: never mind, the question was changed. $\endgroup$ – B.fox Nov 10 '17 at 23:50
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    $\begingroup$ Watch Pacific Rim $\endgroup$ – Unhappymarshmellow Nov 11 '17 at 0:06
  • $\begingroup$ It's possible to control a mecha with one's mind using today's technology. The harder part would be not requiring amputation to do so. $\endgroup$ – Dallaylaen Nov 11 '17 at 2:17
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    $\begingroup$ I control my car with my mind via my hands. Also my foot. $\endgroup$ – Willk Nov 11 '17 at 2:23
  • $\begingroup$ I control my cat electromagnetically🐅 $\endgroup$ – user6760 Nov 11 '17 at 4:42
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Neurological interfacing. If the human's purpose being inside the mech was only to control the mech, then you could train a human to simply use the mech as an extension of their own body. By reading the neurological activity of a pilot's brain, you can create a medium for a person to control the mech. Substitute the nerve responses for, say, tongue movement, for actions like shooting missiles or adjusting the thrust output of the jet engines, or whatever. If your mech suit has eight arms, then just record other various portions of the brain that would be designated control of the extra arms. Over time, a pilot could learn and train to use a mech properly by mastering the nervous responses of their brain.

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TL;DR -- Yep!

Absolutely! We've already taken the first step:

[...] implanted an array of 128 electrodes over the part of the brain controlling hand and arm movements. The researchers then instructed the subject to move individual fingers, while using a purpose-made computer program to monitor which parts of the brain emitted an electric signal as he did.

[... gathered sensory data too ...] Armed with this motory and sensory data, the team then programmed the prosthetic arm to move its fingers depending on which part of the brain was lighting up. They wired the prosthetic up to the electrodes in the patient's brain and instructed him to think about moving each of his fingers, finding that the electrical signals were enough to trigger the movement of the corresponding prosthetic fingers.

At first, the limb was able to be controlled via thought with 76 percent accuracy, but the researchers were able to boost this to 88 percent

(Source: https://newatlas.com/mind-controlled-prosthetic-fingers/41886/ )

I mean, this is a proof-of-concept, primitive, and they haven't studied long-term effects, but ... damn.

Now here's an important point. The scientists are trying very hard to map to the "right" parts of the brain. Which means, in a perfected technology, you don't "pilot" the mecha. You are the mecha. When you have an itchy nostril, your mecha is going to pick it's nose. When you laugh, your mecha will double over. When you see that cute ensign ... well, this is a family site.

Why is this important?

Just this ... the brain is incredibly plastic, and adaptive. They could have put the electrodes almost anywhere, and over time the subject would have learned to move the arm by thinking in a certain way. The effect will be to step back to piloting the mecha. I find myself wondering if that wouldn't be a better approach, as you will be using your trained reflexes instead of your inborn ones.

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