Proceedings of the 18th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, August 2003, pp. 1121--1126 .

Non-Invasive Brain-Actuated Control of a Mobile Robot

J. del R. Millán, F. Renkens, J. Mourino, and W. Gerstner

Recent experiments have shown the near possibility to use the brain electrical activity to directly control the movement of robotics or prosthetic devices. In this paper we report results with a portable non-invasive brain-computer interface that makes possible the continuous control of a mobile robot in a house-like environment. The interface uses 8 surface electrodes to measure electroencephalogram (EEG) signals from which a statistical classifier recognizes 3 different mental states. Until now, brain-actuated control of robots has relied on invasive approaches-requiring surgical implantation of electrodes-since EEG-based systems have been considered too slow for controlling rapid and complex sequences of movements. Here we show that, after a few days of training, two human subjects successfully moved a robot between several rooms by mental control only. Furthermore, mental control was only marginally worse than manual control on the same task.