Brain Control For The Arduino


When we hear about a brain controlled Arduino project we immediately think about a coding nightmare. As always, the simple hacks are the best hacks. [Joel] and [Akshay] used hardware from a kid’s game as a brain interface for an Arduino.

We came across the video (embedded after the break) of their work and asked for more info on what we thought was an incredibly difficult hack. It turns out they purchased Uncle Milton’s Force Trainer which uses a headset to measure brain waves and has a base unit that reacts to these measurements. Hacking into this device didn’t require reverse engineering of anything. They took the easy route, and tapped into the five LEDs on the base unit. As the game measures greater levels of concentration, it lights up more LEDs.

So far tapping into the game is just a proof of concept. It’s up to you to implement a brain controlled beer bot.


Above is the video of the Force Trainer interfaced with an Arduino and used to control the music based on your concentration.


Above is a video review of Uncle Milton’s Force Trainer at a toy trade show.

20 thoughts on “Brain Control For The Arduino

  1. @Zibri
    Hackaday regularly ignores good submissions in favor of flashy-looking ones. Your writeup is excellent, thanks for posting the link. I wouldn’t have known that this toy even has a TTL serial port if you hadn’t posted.

  2. whine whine about the Arduino all the time. It’s a powerful and easily accessible little platform that’s letting people put microcontrollers in all kinds of things. So what if a few people just use it to blink an LED? There are plenty of other people who are doing cool stuff with them (like running a whole segway) and who can actually do it now that they don’t have to buy an AVRISP and learn to write microcontroller C.

  3. @zibri
    excellent! thanks for the writeup! compared to your approach including the brain app the posted story is (quite) lame.
    i mean you should recognize a ttl when you see one…
    now control something with it…

  4. Thanks guys.. not even my hack was so ‘hacky’…
    If you notice on the youtube video there is a debug port.. and it’s on the same side of the internal ttl connector :)

    I am also trying to interface directly to the SPI port on the wireless module directly.. :)

  5. Oh well.. that port is not in the retail game.. The one in the video was a testing device I suppose. Anyhow the ttl port is easy to spot a big “CONSOLE/ICSP” label is printed on the PCB :)
    I really do wonder why they connected to the LEDs.

  6. Thanks hackaday for posting this!

    Just to give you some background, I’m a Stanford MS student, and this project was done as an assignment for my first ever Music class (

    Having recently learned about Arduino and PD, this was more of a Hello World project. But, ever since we put that video on YouTube, we’ve got very solid feedback and ideas.

    As we do a revision on this, we’d love to hear from you…
    i) What musical instrument would you like to control with your brain?
    ii) Since the brain signal is a bit noisy, how would you map it to control that instrument?

    Look fwd to your responses!
    Akshay Kothari

    1. Frequency identification is key to finding your specific output requests from the brain.
      Each of the three layers operate on a unique range, the “reptilian brain” being the lowest frequency where as the top “humane” layer has two degrees of the ultra freqency. A “Ying and Yang” , ” Male and Female sort of or in more distinct terms a logical and emotional side. It is said that those who are able to synchronize the two have the understanding of the gods.
      Cymatics is your starting point.
      Enjoy the journey

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