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A multi-purpose brain-computer interface output device

A multi-purpose brain-computer interface output device

Clinical Eeg and Neuroscience 42(4): 230-235

While brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are a promising alternative access pathway for individuals with severe motor impairments, many BCI systems are designed as stand-alone communication and control systems, rather than as interfaces to existing systems built for these purposes. An individual communication and control system may be powerful or flexible, but no single system can compete with the variety of options available in the commercial assistive technology (AT) market. BCls could instead be used as an interface to these existing AT devices and products, which are designed for improving access and agency of people with disabilities and are highly configurable to individual user needs. However, interfacing with each AT device and program requires significant time and effort on the part of researchers and clinicians. This work presents the Multi-Purpose BCI Output Device (MBOD), a tool to help researchers and clinicians provide BCI control of many forms of AT in a plug-and-play fashion, i.e., without the installation of drivers or software on the AT device, and a proof-of-concept of the practicality of such an approach. The MBOD was designed to meet the goals of target device compatibility, BCI input device compatibility, convenience, and intuitive command structure. The MBOD was successfully used to interface a BCI with multiple AT devices (including two wheelchair seating systems), as well as computers running Windows (XP and 7), Mac and Ubuntu Linux operating systems.

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Accession: 051167863

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PMID: 22208120

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