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J Neural Eng. 2008 Jun;5(2):214-20. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/5/2/012. Epub 2008 May 15.

Control of a humanoid robot by a noninvasive brain-computer interface in humans.

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Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


We describe a brain-computer interface for controlling a humanoid robot directly using brain signals obtained non-invasively from the scalp through electroencephalography (EEG). EEG has previously been used for tasks such as controlling a cursor and spelling a word, but it has been regarded as an unlikely candidate for more complex forms of control owing to its low signal-to-noise ratio. Here we show that by leveraging advances in robotics, an interface based on EEG can be used to command a partially autonomous humanoid robot to perform complex tasks such as walking to specific locations and picking up desired objects. Visual feedback from the robot's cameras allows the user to select arbitrary objects in the environment for pick-up and transport to chosen locations. Results from a study involving nine users indicate that a command for the robot can be selected from four possible choices in 5 s with 95% accuracy. Our results demonstrate that an EEG-based brain-computer interface can be used for sophisticated robotic interaction with the environment, involving not only navigation as in previous applications but also manipulation and transport of objects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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