José del R. Millán is the Defitech Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) where he explores the use of brain signals for multimodal interaction and, in particular, the development of non-invasive brain-controlled robots and neuroprostheses. In this multidisciplinary research effort, Dr. Millán is bringing together his pioneering work on the two fields of brain-computer interfaces and adaptive intelligent robotics.
He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the Univ. Politècnica de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain) in 1992, where he was an assistant professor for three years. He was also a research scientist at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Ispra (Italy), a senior researcher at the Idiap Research Institute in Martigny (Switzerland), and a visiting scholar at the Universities of Stanford and Berkeley as well as at the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley.
His research on brain-computer interfaces was nominated finalist of the European Descartes Prize 2001 and he has been named Research Leader 2004 by the journal Scientific American for his work on brain-controlled robots. He is the recipient of the IEEE Nobert Wiener Award 2011 for his seminal and pioneering contributions to non-invasive brain-computer interfaces. The journal Science has reviewed his work as one of the world's key researchers in the field of brain-computer interfaces. Dr. Millán is the coordinator of a number of European projects on brain-computer interfaces and also is a frequent keynote speaker at international events. His work on brain-computer interfaces has received wide scientific and media coverage around the world.
Our laboratory explores the use of brain signals for multimodal interaction and, in particular, the development of brain-controlled robots and neuroprostheses. In this multidisciplinary research effort, we are bringing together our pioneering work on the two fields of brain-computer interfaces (BCI) and adaptive intelligent robotics. Among our achievements, Dr. Millán and his students have developed the first non-invasive brain-controlled mobile robot and wheelchair.
Our objective is to design intelligent brain-controlled devices that people can efficiently operate in a natural and intuitive manner over long periods of time. We put a strong emphasis on the use of statistical machine learning techniques so as to achieve a seamless coupling between the user and the brain-controlled device (or neuroprosthesis). A key element is the design of efficient and robust algorithms for real-time decoding of brain activity associated to different aspects of voluntary behaviour. In addition, we design approaches to monitor users' cognitive state in order to facilitate interaction.
The promise of such neuroprostheses is to augment (or restore) human capabilities and is particularly relevant for paralyzed humans, although it also opens up new possibilities for able-bodied people -in entertainment, car driving, and space applications.