35 Years Ago, Researchers Used Brain Waves to Control a Robot

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35 Years Ago, Researchers Used Brain Waves to Control a Robot


Using the mind to instantly management an object was lengthy the stuff of science fiction, and in 1988 the imaginative and prescient turned a actuality.

IEEE Life Senior Member Stevo Bozinovski and Members Mihail Sestakov and Dr. Liljana Bozinovska used a scholar volunteer’s electroencephalogram (EEG) mind indicators to maneuver a robotic alongside a closed-circuit observe. Bozinovski and Sestakov have been electrical engineering and pc science professors at Saints Cyril and Methodius University, in Skopje, North Macedonia. Bozinovska, a doctor, taught within the college’s medical college. Their achievement has paved the best way for EEG-controlled wheelchairs and exoskeletons.

IEEE commemorated their work with an IEEE Milestone throughout a ceremony on the college on 10 October.

“The accomplishment is not only meaningful locally,” Vladimir Atanasovski mentioned on the dedication ceremony. “It exhibits benefits for the entire humanity.” Atanasovski is dean of the college’s electrical engineering and data applied sciences college.

“It was at this very school, 35 years ago, where a relationship between two previously distant areas [robotics and EEG signals] was formed,” he added. “This remarkable work showed that science fiction can become a reality.

“Controlling a robot using human brain signals for the first time advanced both electrical and computer engineering and science, led to worldwide research on brain-computer interfaces, and opened an explicit communication channel between robots and humans.”

Using engineering to show psychokinesis

Bozinovski, Sestakov, and Bozinovska constructed a system to ship instructions to a robotic primarily based on EEG sign processing. The technique is noninvasive; all you must do is place electrodes on a volunteer’s scalp.

The three researchers used a Movit Line Tracer II robotic they constructed from a package from Japanese equipment store Elehobby, now known as Elekit. The robotic had two plastic discs that sat on prime of one another and held the digital elements between them. Its two wheels have been managed with a begin/cease mechanical swap.

“Engineers are the driving force in every country, contributing to the welfare and progress of societies.”—Stevo Pendarovsk

The robotic, powered by batteries, drove on a observe drawn on a flat floor, based on the Milestone proposal entry on the Engineering Technology and History Wiki.

But the researchers nonetheless didn’t understand how they have been going to translate the mind indicators into instructions. Bozinovska steered utilizing the EEG’s outstanding alpha-range frequency of 8 to 12 hertz—referred to as the mu rhythm. It’s a synchronized sample {of electrical} exercise within the a part of the mind that controls voluntary motion. The frequency will increase when an individual is relaxed and never transferring.

Bozinovska’s concept was that the sample would command the Line Tracer. People trying to manage the robotic would obtain rest by closing their eyes. To cease the robotic from transferring, they’d carry out a voluntary motion resembling opening their eyes.

Bozinovski, Sestakov, and Bozinovska designed an experiment to check her concept.

Moving a robotic utilizing mind indicators

Black and white photo of table with a race track on it with two people sitting behind itTwo rooms have been constructed to conduct the experiment. One was known as the “robot arena,” and had a desk on which sat an oblong closed-circuit observe with markings the place the robotic could be commanded to cease.Saints Cyril and Mehtodius University/IEEE

Bozinovski and Sestakov constructed two rooms within the college’s Laboratory of Intelligent Machines and Bioinformation Systems to conduct the experiment. One was known as the “robot arena,” as Bozinovski described it within the Milestone entry. In the room was a desk on which sat an oblong closed-circuit observe with markings the place the robotic could be commanded to cease.

The second room housed the expertise together with analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters, an IBM XT private pc, a transistor amplifier, and a differential biomedical amplifier, which measured the voltage distinction between the mind’s amplitude and frequency and the time it took for them to vary. Bozinovski and Sestakov changed the mechanical swap with an EEG-emulated management swap that was linked to the transistor amplifier. The scholar volunteer sat within the second room.

A window linked the 2 rooms. Wires from the D/A converter connected to the robotic hung from the ceiling, properly out of the best way of the robotic’s motion.

Electrodes have been positioned on the highest and middle of the volunteer’s head, close to the medial parietal cortex—the a part of the mind that completes visible scene processing. More have been positioned behind the fitting ear, close to the mastoid, which perceives visible sensations. Others have been positioned on the brow, to gather the bottom electrical sign, from which the differential biomedical amplifier might detect if the frequency elevated.

To transfer the robotic, the scholar relaxed, with eyes closed. The differential biomedical amplifier recorded the EEG indicators and inputted them into the pc with the assistance of the A/D converter set at 300 Hz. Recognition software program created by Bozinovski and Sestakov translated the indicators right into a go command. The pc then despatched a 5-volt logic pulse by means of the D/A converter—which the transistor amplifier magnified and despatched to the robotic. The volunteer was in a position to cease the Line Tracer by opening their eyes.

Bozinovski, Sestakov, and Bozinovska introduced their findings on the 1988 IEEE International Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference.

North Macedonia’s president on the significance of engineers

“Engineers are the driving force in every country, contributing to the welfare and progress of societies,” Stevo Pendarovski, president of North Macedonia, mentioned on the dedication ceremony.

“Let this genuinely exceptional event of great importance for Macedonian engineering in particular, but also for Macedonian science and society as a whole, be an inspiration for all students, professors, and future engineers,” Pendarovski mentioned, “to create and contribute to building a modern and technologically advanced world.”

IEEE President Saifur Rahman additionally attended the ceremony.

A plaque recognizing the expertise is displayed outdoors the Saints Cyril and Methodius University electrical engineering school constructing. The Laboratory of Intelligent Machines and Bioinformation Systems, the place the Milestone was achieved, is within the constructing. It reads:

In 1988, within the Laboratory of Intelligent Machines and Bioinformation Systems, human mind indicators managed the motion of a bodily object (a robotic) for the primary time worldwide. This linked electroencephalogram (EEG) indicators collected from a mind with robotics analysis, opening a brand new channel for communication between people and machines. EEG-controlled gadgets (wheelchairs, exoskeletons, and so on.) have benefited quite a few customers and expanded expertise’s function in fashionable society.

Administered by the IEEE History Center and supported by donors, the Milestone program acknowledges excellent technical developments around the globe.

The IEEE North Macedonia Section sponsored the nomination.

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