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This paper presents an interface for navigating a mobile robot that moves at a fixed speed in a planar workspace, with noisy binary inputs that are obtained asynchronously at low bit-rates from a human user through an electroencephalograph (EEG). The approach is to construct an ordered symbolic language for smooth planar curves and to use these curves as desired paths for a mobile robot. The underlying problem is then to design a communication protocol by which the user can, with vanishing error probability, specify a string in this language using a sequence of inputs. Such a protocol, provided by tools from information theory, relies on a human user's ability to compare smooth curves, just like they can compare strings of text. We demonstrate our interface by performing experiments in which twenty subjects fly a simulated aircraft at a fixed speed and altitude with input only from EEG. Experimental results show that the majority of subjects are able to specify desired paths despite a wide range of errors made in decoding EEG signals.
Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:21 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: March 2013