Monday, December 03, 2012

BCI European Projects

Here are probably the 6 bigger BCI EU projects for systems that include spelling devices, computer games, functional electrical stimulation and navigation in virtual environments.

TOBI (2008-2012)

TOBI will design non-invasive BCI prototypes that will be combined with existing assistive technologies and rehabilitation protocols. In such a hybrid approach users can couple brain interaction with muscle-based interaction or can naturally switch between the different ways of interacting. Non-invasive BCI are based on electroencephalogram (EEG) signals. The EEG is recorded through electrodes placed on the user's head. This technology is not invasive and only records the electrical activity of the brain without interfering with it. TOBI is expected to have an impact by broadening the appropriate use of BCI assistive technology, by incorporating adaptive capabilities that augment those other assistive technologies they are combined with.

DECODER (2010-2012)

DECODER is a European collaborative project that will deploy Brain-Computer-Interfaces (BCI) for the detection of consciousness in non-responsive patients. The DECODER team develops an assessment battery that sup­ports an exact diagnosis of the state of consciousness by a variety of auditory, visual, tactile and mental stimulation paradigms. Through the deployment of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) for non-responsive patients DECODER will provide access to modern information and communication technology such as internet, personal computer or home appliances when only a single response of a person is available.

BETTER (2010-2012)

The principal goal of BETTER is to improve physical rehabilitation therapies of gait disorders in stroke patients based on BNCI assistive technologies, producing improved systems, providing guidelines for improving future systems, and developing benchmarking and evaluation tools. The project will validate, technically, functionally and clinically, the concept of improving stroke rehabilitation with wearable exoskeletons and robotic gait trainers based on a TOP-DOWN approach: The robot exerts physical stimulation -at the periphery- as a function of targeted neural activation patterns (related to user involvement). This intervention is expected to result in reorganizations in the cortex. Such Top-Down therapeutic treatment would aim to encourage plasticity of the affected brain structures to improve motor function.

BrainAble (2010-2012)
The BrainAble project is about empowering them and pursues to mitigate the limitations of the everyday life to which they are confronted to. Our initiative is to research, design, implement and validate an ICT-based HCI (Human Computer Interface) composed of BNCI (Brain Neural Computer Interface) sensors combined with affective computing and virtual environments. Motor disabilities of people from any origin have a dramatic effect on their quality of life. Some examples of neurologic nature include a person suffering from a severe brain injury resulting from a car collision or individuals who have suffered a brain stroke. For years, the severely disabled have learned to cope with their restricted autonomy, impacting on their daily activities like moving around or turning on the lights and ability for social interaction.

ABC (2011-2014)
ABC aims at increasing human capabilities by means of Brain/Neural Computer Interfaces (BNCI). The project will develop applications addressed primarily to persons with Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy (DCP). Due to DCP particular conditions, BNCI-based systems present a huge potential for the improvement of the quality life and the promotion the independent living of this target group. In particular, project outcomes will specifically focus the augmentation of capabilities related to communication, learning, social participation and control of devices. ABC system will be composed by four independent modules based on the latest advancements in BNCI signal processing, Affective Computing, Augmented Communication and Biosignal Monitoring. The reference European Research Institutions in each field will lead the R&D work.

BackHome (2012-2015)
BACKHOME will conceive, research, design, implement and validate person-centred solutions to end users with functional diversity. Knowing the person’s needs will be a core part of the pro­ject focus. Social research techniques will be conducted in order to provide a continuous flow of user-based knowled­ge that will be crucial to ensure the alignment between the project outputs and the requirements of people.
BackHome will provide Assistive Technology (AT) so­lutions to research and develop systems for assisting people with severe disabilities. The AT embedded within BackHome will include BNCIs, environmental control systems and a range of other te­chnologies which are usually classified as ambient inte­lligence and which can provide a considerable support to make BNCI solutions really work in environments with a lack of human support.