This work started from a RIS-funded project focuses on using portable EEG (electroencephalogram) for the detection and interpretation of brain states to provide individuals who have motor disabilities, such as Motor Neurone Disease (MND), the technology to use computers and control robotic devices. Users of the current research can control these devices purely by using thoughts.
One application that has been developed allows users to spell words purely by using mental states. We aim to develop the research further through new data classification algorithms and a detailed investigation of specific brain activity related to the applications being developed.
We have currently developed a keyboard speller which allows users to type on a PC through thoughts in their mind and without the use of any physical activity.
Dr Ali Roula said: “Using one’s mind, one can control machines and computer applications. It also provides the potential of providing a cheaper and portable communication aid for people with motor disabilities.
“We would like to use this technology to create better communication and mobility aids for people with motor disability especially people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and locked-in stroke patients. These constitute the extreme case of people – otherwise perfectly normal – not being able to move parts or the totality of their body. The headset could also be used to also control the movement of wheel chairs and prosthetic limbs.”
On the back of this pilot study, a “research and innovation grant” was awarded to develop a project entitled “Designing Better Adaptive Brain Computer Interfaces for Stroke Rehabilitation using High Performance Computing”.
The project – worth £81,000- is partly funded by HPC Wales and will be conducted in collaboration with Prof. Peter McCarthy and Neuradaptix Ltd.