Jan.13, 2014

Conor Russomanno and Joel Murphy launched a Kickstarter campaign called OpenBCI last month, a low-cost, Arduino-compatible, open-source brain-computer interface kit that gives anybody with an access to their brain wave data.

BCI stands for Brain Computer Interface. Tools for reading brainwaves have been around since 1912 when Russian physiologist, Vladimir Vladimirovich Pravdich-Neminsky published the first use of electroencephalography (EEG). EEG could measure the faint electrical signals that our brains emit when we think, sleep, move around, or meditate.

But those high-grade EEG monitoring devices in a research lab often cost thousands of dollars. OpenBCI team wants to build an open platform that gives users access to brainwave raw data, without proprietary algorithms or signal tampering. The idea is to allow you to control devices such as lights and robots based on your mood using software algorithms and signal processing.

With some funding help from DARPA, OpenBCI developed a customizable and affordable headset that uses electrodes (EEG) to record the brain's electrical signals. It uses the ADS1299 chip by Texas Instruments, an 8-channel, low-noise, 24-bit analog-to-digital converter designed specifically for measuring teeny-tiny electrical brain signals. It has the capability to read 8 channels simultaneously with a daisy-chain option to give users up to 16 EEG channels. The OpenBCI Board comes with an onboard re-programmable micro-controller. Versions 1 and 2 are Arduino shields, but the version 3, which will be released in April 2014, have an ATmega328p on board that is programmable over bluetooth low energy (BTLE).

OpenBCI V2

OpenBCI launched a 3D-printable helmet-like EEG device earlier this month so anyone can customize and print their own. And last week, OpenBCI showed off their first headset prototype created on a 3D printer. It took seven hours to print the prototype (see the image below). All OpenBCI 3D-Printable Headset files are published on Github so you can build your own system and perfect it over time.

This Kickstarter project will support OpenBCI to get its existing hardware ready for mass production. The OpenBCI project hit their goal last week and has already raised $114,803 (as of writing) from 608 backers. A pledge of US$314 will get you the signal capture system, coming with an electrode starter kit and OpenBCI Board. All options have an estimated delivery date of March 2014.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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