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A Brain–Machine Interface to Navigate a Mobile Robot in a Planar Workspace: Enabling Humans to Fly Simulated Aircraft With EEG

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4 Author(s)
Akce, A. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA ; Johnson, M. ; Dantsker, O. ; Bretl, T.

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.

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Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 2 )