ASU researcher creates system to control robots with the brain
A researcher at Arizona State University has discovered how to control multiple robotic drones using the human brain.
A controller wears a skull cap outfitted with 128 electrodes wired to a computer. The device records electrical brain activity. If the controller moves a hand or thinks of something, certain areas light up.
“I can see that activity from outside,” said Panagiotis Artemiadis (pictured above), director of the Human-Oriented Robotics and Control Lab and an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “Our goal is to decode that activity to control variables for the robots.”
If the user is thinking about decreasing cohesion between the drones — spreading them out, in other words — “we know what part of the brain controls that thought,” Artemiadis said.
A wireless system sends the thought to the robots. “We have a motion-capture system that knows where the quads are, and we change their distance, and that’s it,” he said.
Up to four small robots, some of which fly, can be controlled with brain interfaces. Joysticks don’t work, because they can only control one craft at a time.
“You can’t do something collectively” with a joystick, Artemiadis said. “If you want to swarm around an area and guard that area, you cannot do that.”
To make them move, the controller watches on a monitor and thinks and pictures the drones performing various tasks.
Artemiadis has been working on the brain-to-machine interface since he earned his doctorate in 2009, specifically neural interfaces with robot hands and arms.
“During the last two to three decades there has been a lot of research on single brain/machine interface, where you control a single machine,” he said.
A few years ago, he had the idea to go to a lot of machines. It’s part of a trend in robotics and space exploration: Instead of building one giant expensive machine or plane or spacecraft, researchers build a lot of little cheap ones.
“If you lose half of them, it doesn’t really matter,” Artemiadis said.
He already knew what area of the brain controlled what motions. One discovery jumped out at him.
“I was surprised the brain cares about swarms and collective behaviors,” he said.
“What I didn’t know — or hypothesized — is that the brain cares about things we are not doing ourselves,” he added. “We don’t have a swarm we control. We have hands and limbs and all that stuff, but we don’t control swarms.”
In other words, our brains are not used to all of our fingers and toes running off on their own and then returning.
“I was surprised the brain cares about that, and that the brain can adapt,” he said.
He worked with Air Force pilots on this; the two-year project was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense and the Air Force. The pilots were skeptical. Their main objection was what would happen if they thought of something else while controlling the drones.
Artemiadis said controllers have to stay focused. If it’s close to lunch and all you can think about it is pizza, it doesn’t work. Fatigue and stress also play a part. Artemiadis said he can tell when subjects are tired or need a break.
“We tell the subject to think of two things,” he said. “Focus on breathing, or we tell them to imagine closing their left hand into a fist.”
Each subject is different. The system has to be calibrated to individual controllers, and it has to be done every day, because brain signals change from day to day.
The next step in Artemiadis’ research is multiple people controlling multiple robots. He plans to move to a much larger experimental space to refine the proof of concept. In the future, he sees drone swarms performing complex operations, such as search-and-rescue missions.
The Latest on: Controlling multiple robot drones with the brain
via Google News
The Latest on: Controlling multiple robot drones with the brain
- Hospitals of the future: Multiple opportunities for AV as healthcare goes high-techon October 10, 2021 at 9:14 am
A lot of AV pros could be going to the hospital over the next decade. That’s actually a good thing. Thank the growing number of EMEA government initiatives that provide billions to build “smart ...
- Arts & Entertainmenton October 8, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Making war less cruel — such as with drones and surveillance technologies — diverts Americans from pursuing the more radical goal of genuine peace, Samuel Moyn argues. Jeff Bezos’ space ...
- Meet LEO: Tiny 2.5ft-tall drone-robot hybrid can use its two legs to navigate a slackline and skateboard, or switch on its thrusters to fly through the airon October 7, 2021 at 11:03 am
LEO was developed from parts found around the lab, including from two-legged robots and drones, by engineers from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
- 86 Season 3 release date: 86 Eighty-Six Season 3 predictionson October 5, 2021 at 10:02 pm
Season 1 has had multiple ED songs ... although the Juggernauts and the unmanned drones of the Legion are fictional robots, their various weapons and attachments were designed with real-world ...
- Virtual reality affects children differently than adultson September 26, 2021 at 5:00 pm
In 2016 at EPFL's Open House, EPFL graduate Jenifer Miehlbradt was showcasing her virtual reality setup to allow users to pilot drones using ... to understand motor control," says Micera.
- embedded systemson September 20, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Aerial passenger drone startup EHang flew its EHang 216 two-seat self-flying taxi fully autonomously in North Carolina last night, a first for the company both in the U.S. and North America. EHang, wh ...
- Nvidia Brings AI to Makers with the Jetson Nanoon September 16, 2021 at 4:59 pm
Nvidia hopes makers and enthusiasts will embrace the $99 Jetson Nano developer kit in creating projects such as robots, drones, smart devices ... It can also run multiple neural networks on each ...
- Burning Man Without the Manon September 13, 2021 at 12:44 pm
It was a squad of programmed aerial drones forming ... They created multiple artworks from lights in the air, some associated with high-end elite DJ vehicle Robot Heart, and two in the middle ...
- 9 Ways that 5G Can Transform the World as We Know iton September 13, 2021 at 12:17 pm
Unlike human operators, robots don't make mistakes ... 5G also supports unmanned autonomous vehicles like ambulance drones, which can transport vital emergency equipment like defibrillators up to 4x ...
- Brutal Chinese Weapon Launches Swarm of Explosive Suicide Droneson October 16, 2020 at 11:01 am
Experts are worried that drone swarms could be used to confuse and overwhelm air defense systems by quickly being able to approach them from multiple angles. The U.S. Military Is Hiring Hackers to ...
via Bing News