Preface

Shortly, you will build your own mind-controlled robot. But that’s just the beginning of what you’ll be able to do. As you follow the explanations for components and codes, you will thoroughly understand how your robot works. You can keep applying the knowledge to your own robots and EEG-based prototypes.

You’ll learn to

  • Connect an inexpensive EEG device to Arduino
  • Build a robot platform on wheels
  • Calculate a percentage value from a potentiometer reading
  • Mix colors with an RGB LED
  • Play tones with a piezo speaker
  • Write a program to avoid lines (tracks)
  • Create simple movement routines

From Helsinki to San Francisco

In spring 2011, O’Reilly invited us to Maker Faire, which is the biggest DIY festival in the world. We had to come up with a gimmick for the festival. It had to be both new and simple enough so that everyone could understand how it worked. Cheap EEG devices had just arrived to market and we thought that it would be interesting to couple one of those with a robot.

As a result, we demonstrated the first prototype of the mind-controlled robot at Maker Faire. It was a hit. People queued to try controlling the bot after seeing it in action, as you can see in Figure 1.

Attendees enjoying our robot at Maker Faire 2011, San Francisco Bay area.

Figure 1. Attendees enjoying our robot at Maker Faire 2011, San Francisco Bay area.

The bot is easy to use. You put on a headband and when you concentrate, the bot moves. Focus more and it goes faster. And ...

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