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Advances in Human-Computer Interaction
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 641074, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/641074
Research Article

Towards Brain-Computer Interface Control of a 6-Degree-of-Freedom Robotic Arm Using Dry EEG Electrodes

1Lab of Medical Informatics, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
2Department of Automation, Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
3Department of Neurosurgery, Papageorgiou General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece

Received 4 January 2013; Revised 21 March 2013; Accepted 3 April 2013

Academic Editor: Panagiotis Bamidis

Copyright © 2013 Alexander Astaras et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Introduction. Development of a robotic arm that can be operated using an exoskeletal position sensing harness as well as a dry electrode brain-computer interface headset. Design priorities comprise an intuitive and immersive user interface, fast and smooth movement, portability, and cost minimization. Materials and Methods. A robotic arm prototype capable of moving along 6 degrees of freedom has been developed, along with an exoskeletal position sensing harness which was used to control it. Commercially available dry electrode BCI headsets were evaluated. A particular headset model has been selected and is currently being integrated into the hybrid system. Results and Discussion. The combined arm-harness system has been successfully tested and met its design targets for speed, smooth movement, and immersive control. Initial tests verify that an operator using the system can perform pick and place tasks following a rather short learning curve. Further evaluation experiments are planned for the integrated BCI-harness hybrid setup. Conclusions. It is possible to design a portable robotic arm interface comparable in size, dexterity, speed, and fluidity to the human arm at relatively low cost. The combined system achieved its design goals for intuitive and immersive robotic control and is currently being further developed into a hybrid BCI system for comparative experiments.