Brain Wave Skimming On The Go

Mentok: The Mind Taker

Master EEG hackers [MOG] and [Tim] over at the Makers Local 256 have been working on creating a Bluetooth EEG listener made from a Mattel Mindflex. This build is based on an earlier build of a group called [Frontier Nerds] (thanks for the heads up [Nathan]!), but this version ditches the Arduino in favor of a basic serial to bluetooth adapter for the sake of power efficiency (as well as not having to keep an Arduino strapped to you head). We have covered a few Mindflex hacks before, but this seems to be the most useful in a practical sense. They have included the code for a Bluetooth serial data logger, and the earlier build shows a good example of captured data visualization.

16 thoughts on “Brain Wave Skimming On The Go

  1. Considering the amount of effort being put into this they could have just bought a NeuroSky MindSet from the makers of the MindFlex technology, which already does the bluetooth thing and has a standard published API. Yeah it’s $200 but it comes out of the box ready to roll with Bluetooth serial EEG data, Bluetooth audio on a separate channel (it’s in the form factor of a set of headphones), rechargeable batteries, and you don’t look like a refugee from Real Genius when you’re wearing it.

  2. Hello, I would like to point out that this post appears to erroneously be giving credit for both projects to the team from makers local, where in the Arduino version is from a separate person(s).

  3. i got ‘real genius’ and ‘weird science’ mixed up there for a bit. was going to ask when somebody was going to make a virtual genie girl out of shitty old computers

  4. @localroger: Yeah, sure, but buying is not hacking, which incidentally happens to be the focus of this site. However, using ready made gadget as part of a larger hack (like mind activated TV-be-gone or whatever) would be appropriate, IMHO. Have something on your brain^W mind?

  5. @salec point taken about the purpose of HaD but what I was getting at is that hacking shouldn’t be pointless, it should get you some feature that isn’t available (cheaper, faster, jailbroken, etc.) or your time is better spent on a different hack. This hack is more expensive than the commercial product and does less (since the MindSet also outputs the raw data for further analysis, which the toys don’t).

    NeuroSky’s intent behind the MindSet seems to be that you’d use it for the kind of hacking you are talking about; the software that comes with it doesn’t do much more than “ooooh pretty.” But you’d be hacking in software off the bat instead of throwing a bunch of stuff together, trying to repackage it, and THEN thinking of the software.

  6. @localroger
    1 mindflex toy ebay: 40 dollars
    1 bluetooth to uart chip: 18 dollars
    3 hours of fun coding: 0 dollars
    1 neurosky dev kit: 199 dollars

    Seriously not to mention my mindflex came with a free game that is still functional ^_^ I am sorry you dont enjoy the project, I will gladly refund you your money.

  7. bwahahaha…

    i had a similar idea today, using an mp3 player (creative zen micro) as a dual channel WAV recorder, instrumentation amplifiers (DIY based on LM311’s), voltage to frequency converters for each channel, and homemade resistive EEG electrodes made from segments of a defunct ECG chest monitor’s contact pad.

    obviously you need to isolate the EEG electrodes from the IA’s + V-Fs with low value capacitors, and the amplifier section from everything else with an optical power coupler and >10KV rated optical or inductive signal isolators.

    the IEC standard for these things is very strict, down to <1 uA of acceptable leakage from any path to any other path.

    (there is a reason why they tell you not to use TENS machines near or on the head!)

    otherwise, neat project, next logical step is to display data and see if you can map out the visual field(s).

  8. @Mog ahhhh, I didn’t realize the Mindflex toy was so cheap. For some reason I was thinking it was over $100.

    It was still worth the difference to me to get the raw data (I still get people who insist it’s doing GSR and not EEG, and the raw data proves they’re wrong). But yeah, I was thinking more like $160 + $40 so where’s the added value, with the toy being $40-$60 and the bluetooth $20 it’s worth doing. I retract my snark.

  9. @localroger i’ve been worrying about whether the mindset raw data is genuine too, and because of that i haven’t bought one yet. could you tell me why you think it’s genuine EEG (and not GSR or facial EMG)? the reassurance would be very helpful :) Thanks

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