Tug of War… with your mind, man!

Challenge your friends to a little mental Tug of War thanks to the Omaha Maker Group’s Red Bull Creation contest entry. The power struggle is all in your mind, and can only be won if you’re able to concentrate deeply and quickly. The headsets worn by each competitor monitor brain waves over a ten second window. If you concentrate more deeply than your opponent they’ll get a squirt of water in the face. If no one is concentrating well the contest is a draw the measurements start again. The screenshot above was taken from the test footage found after the break.

Hardware details are scant on this one. Obviously the Bullduino is the centerpiece of the build, taking readings from the headsets. A motor moves the water nozzle along a slit cut in the top of the sphere.  Progress during the 10-second window is displayed by that nozzle, which starts in the center yellow ‘safe’ zone and moves to one side or another to enter the green ‘kill’ zone.

17 thoughts on “Tug of War… with your mind, man!

      1. I was under the impression that they made everything from scratch except the brain-wave sensing hardware and the Bullduino. I just followed the link, and now I’m disappointed. There’s very little difference between the original product and the resulting project they’ve got here.

  1. I remember doing something similar a few years back with my wife at the Singapore Science Center. Except in our case you would push a small ball back and forth across a track. She beat me in both pushing and pulling exercises, unfortunately.

    1. Uhh, that would have been a good time to say “I could not help but be distracted by your overcoming beauty.”…or something.

    1. We were originally planning to wear shower caps. Though during the build noticed they were sealed pretty decent. So its not really an issue.

  2. Hey, I’m from the Omaha Maker Group…according to one of the lead programmers for this project, it’s all from scratch.

    “We are using a quadrature library, but other than that Brandon and I wrote everything” -Dave

    1. The core of the MindFlex is in there mostly to save time( it was a 2.5 day build, conception to completion).

      The headsets have been modified with a serial output for direct access to the sensed brain wave data, but that requires wires. We considered tapping into the data stream after the RF receiver in the MindFlex, which would have given us a more ‘pure’ solution, but we decided that the complexity in that was probably hiding some big time-sinks.

      The MindFlex takes the incoming data and processes it to generate a drive signal for a motor which has a quadrature rotation sensor. We connected the Bullduino to the quadrature encoder to read the position and derive a score, which is used to set the position of the servo driving the nozzle arm.

      We also wired into the end-stops, game select, and start buttons on the MindFlex so that the Bullduino can force it to do what we want.

  3. Cool. They should put some of that wash out dye they have for water pistols in the water so you really know who lost. So what are they going to call it Nebraska Roulette?

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