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A Hybrid BCI for Enhanced Control of a Telepresence Robot

  • Authors: Carlson, Tom; Tonin, Luca; Perdikis, Serafeim; Leeb, Robert; Millán, José del R.

Motor-disabled end users have successfully driven a telepresence robot in a complex environment using a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI). However, to facilitate the interaction aspect that underpins the notion of telepresence, users must be able to voluntarily and reliably stop the robot at any moment, not just drive from point to point. In this work, we propose to exploit the user’s residual muscular activity to provide a fast and reliable control channel, which can start/stop the telepresence robot at any moment. Our preliminary results show that not only does this hybrid approach increase the accuracy, but it also helps to reduce the workload and was the preferred control paradigm of all the participants.

Posted on: April 24, 2013

Errare machinale est: The use of error-related potentials in brain-machine interfaces

  • Authors: Chavarriaga, Ricardo; Sobolewski, Aleksander; Millán, José del R.

The ability to recognize errors is crucial for efficient behavior. Numerous studies have identified electrophysiological correlates of error recognition in the human brain (error-related potentials, ErrPs). Consequently, it has been proposed to use these signals to improve human-computer interaction (HCI) or brain-machine interfacing (BMI). Here, we present a review of over a decade of developments towards this goal. This body of work provides consistent evidence that ErrPs can be successfully detected on a single-trial basis, and that they can be effectively used in both HCI and BMI applications. We first describe the ErrP phenomenon and follow up with an analysis of different strategies to increase the robustness of a system by incorporating single-trial ErrP recognition, either by correcting the machine’s actions or by providing means for its error-based adaptation. These approaches can be applied both when the user employs traditional HCI input devices or in combination with another BMI channel. Finally, we discuss the current challenges that have to be overcome in order to fully integrate ErrPs into practical applications. This includes, in particular, the characterization of such signals during real(istic) applications, as well as the possibility of extracting richer information from them, going beyond the time-locked decoding that dominates current approaches.

Posted on: July 4, 2014