Monday, October 27, 2014

Sharing the Brain-Controlled Hex Bug

I got to meet up with Joel and Conor (of OpenBCI) for some hacking over the weekend.  We were at a hackathon sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory.  During some of the down-time between hackathon events, we got to do some hacking of our own.  Since Joel and Conor had never seen my brain-controlled hex bug up close, I brought out my stuff.  And nerdy-fun shenanigans ensued.

Brain-Controlled Robots Rule!

The EEG and computer setup was exactly the same as when I did it earlier -- one electrode on the back of the head near O1, the reference electrode on one ear lobe, and the bias electrode on the other electrode.  We used my same blinking movies to induce brain waves at 5 Hz and 7.5 Hz, and we the normal eyes-closed response to induce Alpha waves (which are near 10 Hz).  After playing around with the detection thresholds, we were able to get the system to work for both Joel and Conor.

As a spectator, I really enjoyed the tension and drama provided by Joel's showmanship:

And I also enjoyed the authority of Conor's brain-control skills:

...until his skills failed...

It was really fun to share this hack with Joel and Conor.  Personally, I find that making something move out here in the real world (like this toy robot) is way more fun than simply making traces move on a computer screen.  Sharing hardware hacks is where it's at.  Hardware hacking, FTW!

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