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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 8316485, 8 pages
Research Article

Noninvasive Electroencephalogram Based Control of a Robotic Arm for Writing Task Using Hybrid BCI System

1Key Laboratory of Complex System Control Theory and Application, Tianjin University of Technology, Tianjin 300384, China
2Endowed Research Department of Clinical Neuroengineering, Global Center for Medical Engineering and Informatics, Osaka University, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Chao Chen; moc.liamtoh@bvoccc

Received 31 March 2017; Accepted 10 May 2017; Published 1 June 2017

Academic Editor: Victor H. C. de Albuquerque

Copyright © 2017 Qiang Gao 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.


A novel hybrid brain-computer interface (BCI) based on the electroencephalogram (EEG) signal which consists of a motor imagery- (MI-) based online interactive brain-controlled switch, “teeth clenching” state detector, and a steady-state visual evoked potential- (SSVEP-) based BCI was proposed to provide multidimensional BCI control. MI-based BCI was used as single-pole double throw brain switch (SPDTBS). By combining the SPDTBS with 4-class SSEVP-based BCI, movement of robotic arm was controlled in three-dimensional (3D) space. In addition, muscle artifact (EMG) of “teeth clenching” condition recorded from EEG signal was detected and employed as interrupter, which can initialize the statement of SPDTBS. Real-time writing task was implemented to verify the reliability of the proposed noninvasive hybrid EEG-EMG-BCI. Eight subjects participated in this study and succeeded to manipulate a robotic arm in 3D space to write some English letters. The mean decoding accuracy of writing task was . Four subjects achieved the optimal criteria of writing the word “HI” which is the minimum movement of robotic arm directions (15 steps). Other subjects had needed to take from 2 to 4 additional steps to finish the whole process. These results suggested that our proposed hybrid noninvasive EEG-EMG-BCI was robust and efficient for real-time multidimensional robotic arm control.