This little mechanical buddy is now on the fore-front of robotics research by actually being able to read a users thoughts and respond to them in kind. Taku Ichikawa of the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo is credited with this remarkable innovation, which allowed him to successfully compete in the Robo-One amateur bi-pedal robotics league which includes events like robo-soccer and robo-battles.
What are the implications for us? We are now one step closer to being able to control mecha like we see in Anime w/o the overly complicated controls. Other than that, further development of this technology will allow us to operate machinery more precisely than ever before. Surgeries can be performed by robots controlled by a human as accurate w/o having to require the delicate hands of a doctor, which can be subjected to stress and other environmental factors that degrade their performance. Physically challenged people with robotic prosthetic limbs controlled by this mechanism may allow them to move like other humans given enough practice and development of this technology. The possibilities are quite big for this emerging technology.
There’s also that side-effect of unwanted actions being performed just by merely thinking of them. If you’re piloting a giant robot and your butt starts itching, you might have watch out for a new paint-job on your mecha posterior. That and the whole thing makes it easier for a mad scientist to control his robot army…