This project seeks to design and develop a mechanism to utilize brain waves as a controller. We aim to use an electroencephalogram to read brain waves and depending upon what the person is concentrating out, we will look for patterns. So if the person concentrates on a given action, we will analyze the pattern of brain waves associated with this action. If a specific pattern that we are looking for is read and found, we will use this information to drive a motor. So if the person concentrates on moving a car, we will analyze the pattern of brain waves associated with this, and if the person concentrates on that action again, we will let a mechanism trigger to drive a motor in a car so the car will actually move. We aim to do this by using an EEG and writing software to filter out the brain wave we are looking for. The software will detect if this wave is found and if it is, it will send a signal through the Wi-Fi module to an Arduino. The Arduino will then output a digital signal to the motor and drive a rover.
The functionality of the rover is very simple. It only has two movements: forward and turning. However, the commands to achieve this movement are extremely complicated, as they rely on brainwaves.
This project had some significant challenges that were all mostly associated with the Bluetooth connection between the BlueSMiRF Bluetooth module and the EEG headset. Because the headset was not constructed by us, the proprietary technology made debugging the Bluetooth connection problems of the headset extremely difficult. Frequent disconnections were a recurrent problem with the headset and this was only exacerbated by the poor Bluetooth module. The Bluetooth module also frequently disconnected and connecting the module to the headset was done through a terminal. Each time we wanted to connect the module it had to first be connected to the computer and then paired with the module through a terminal. However, once this connection was established, if it disconnected the module had to be factory reset each time we wanted to reconnect. This, coupled with lack of understanding of the proprietary headset technology led to a lot of difficulty in transmitting data back and forth between the Arduino and the headset.
• Target Consumers: upper-middle to upper class, children and parents
• Existing Products: NeuroSky brain wave technology and games
o No existing products that incorporate rovers
• Cost: $100+ (luxury product)
o Current selling price of MindWave Mobile headset: $100 o Current selling price of BlueSMiRF: $35 for two o Other NeuroSky products range from $50-$150
• Demand: While this is a luxury product, consumers have reacted positively and enthusiastically to NeuroSky products despite their high prices. Although NeuroSky would be our competition, the demand for their products give us an estimate of the demand for this market.
• Edge over Competition
o Pioneers for this specific product o Cost efficient and less expensive
Our product could potentially open the door for more development in the functionality that could come with the measurement and graphing of brain waves. In hindsight, controlling a rover with an EEG headset is a rather simple function. Once this technology is established, EEG technology can be used to control more complex systems. Perhaps, it can even lead to controlling an actual automobile.
Supplementary Information: Brain Waves
• Gamma Waves: high attention and concentration “attention”
o Most common frequency = 40 Hz o Range: [24, 100] o Most reliable and consistent: responsible for turning
• Beta Waves: normal waking consciousness “meditation”
o Three Stages: o Beta 1: [12.5, 16] o Beta 2: [16.5, 20] o Beta 3: [20.5, 28] o Somewhat measurable and consistent: responsible for moving forward
• Alpha Waves: awake but drowsy or relaxed
o Range: [8, 12] o Always present: unmeasurable and inconsistent
• Theta Waves: dreaming
o Range: [4, 7] o Always present: unmeasurable and inconsistent
• Delta Waves: deep, dreamless sleeping
o Range: [0, 3] o Always present: unmeasurable and inconsistent
Supplementary Project: Simon Says Game
• Memory Game: press the button that correlates to the LED that lit up
• Start the game by pressing one of the four buttons and then follow the LED sequence.
• The sequence will get longer as you pass each level.
• You will lose if you press the wrong button or take too long to press one.