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Control of a 9-DoF Wheelchair-mounted robotic arm system using a P300 Brain Computer Interface: Initial experiments

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7 Author(s)
Mayur Palankar ; Dept. of Computer Science and Engg., University of South Florida, Tampa, USA ; Kathryn J. De Laurentis ; Redwan Alqasemi ; Eduardo Veras
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A wheelchair-mounted robotic arm (WMRA) system was designed and built to meet the needs of mobility impaired persons with limitations of upper extremities, and to exceed the capabilities of current devices of this type. The control of this 9-degree-of-freedom system expands upon conventional control methods and combines the 7-DoF robotic arm control with the 2-degree-of-freedom power wheelchair control. The 3- degrees of redundancy are optimized to effectively perform activities of daily living and overcome singularities, joint limits and some workspace limitations. The control system is designed for teleoperated or autonomous coordinated Cartesian control, which offers expandability for future research. A P300 brain computer interface (BCI), the BCI2000, was implemented to control the WMRA system. The control is done by recording and analysing the brain activity through an electrode cap while providing visual stimulation to the user via a visual matrix. The visual matrix contains a symbolic or an alphabetic array corresponding to the motion of the WMRA. By recognizing online and in real-time, which element in the matrix elicited a P300, the BCI system can identify which element the user chose to communicate. The chosen element is then communicated to the controller of the WMRA system. The speed and accuracy of the BCI system was tested. This paper gives details of the WMRA's integration with the BCI2000 and documents the experimental results of the BCI and the WMRA in simulation.

Published in:

Robotics and Biomimetics, 2008. ROBIO 2008. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

22-25 Feb. 2009