Here is the world’s first bicycle with gears that can be changed by using your mind power. Unveiled by scientists at the Toyota Prius Project Parlee PXP bike, the cycle has a unique gearbox that is controlled by thoughts. It works by responding to cues from the brain. It will obviously be controlled only by the rider who will be wearing a unique helmet that transfers brainwaves using wireless technology to a micro-control. The neuron helmet woks on the principle of electrodes picking up neuro-electrical activity to send signals to an electronic gear shifter which is in this case placed under the bike’s seat.
Patrick Miller, creative engineer at Deeplocal said: ‘The system has been built using a simple off-the-shelf brainwave reader and software to read the signals. ‘It takes the rider a little bit of training but we’re at the stage where people are successfully changing gears with their mind while riding. ‘There is some special software to train people – while in a neutral state if you think “shift up” the helmet reads those patterns. ‘So over time signals sent to the micro control when a user thinks “shift up” or “shift down” become recognisable. He further added that ‘It’s an experiment at the moment, but once you have control you can do a lot of things like change gear during a journey based on things like speed and distance.’
The bike is almost entirely made from carbon fibre in the shape of an aerodynamic integrated in almost all components. The cycle has internally routed cables and brakes which are built into forks. The rider is supposed to wear a small netbook on his/her back handling the brainwave reader. Miller said, “We took some things off the shelf and made something from it. It was trial and error and we managed to make something from it. ‘It could be mass produced but at the moment it’s just a prototype. As a cyclist myself I’m still used to using my hands and it’s a very different thing. ‘I had no long-term plan with the bike – just to play around and make something cool.” So isn’t it cool after all?