ArdEEG Lowers The Cost Of Brain-Computer Interfaces

Considering the incredible potential offered by brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), it’s no wonder there are so many companies scrambling to make their mark in the field. Some see it as an assistive technology, while others imagine it as the future of interactive entertainment. Regardless of the application, the technology has yet to make much inroads with the DIY crowd — largely due to the complexity and cost of the hardware involved.

But that might change in the near future thanks to projects like ardEEG from [Ildar Rakhmatulin]. This open source shield mounts to the top of the Arduino UNO R4 WiFi and features eight channels for collecting electroencephalogram (EEG) data, such as from a dry electrode cap. The signals can then be processed on the computer using the provided Python example code. From there, the raw data can be visualized or plugged into whatever application you have in mind.

Why target the relatively uncommon WiFi version of the Uno? It’s probably obvious for those with experience with this kind of hardware, but for safety, the system needs complete electrical isolation. The Arduino and shield are powered by a common USB battery bank, and all communication is done over WiFi. Even still, the documentation is clear that the ardEEG is not a medical device, and hasn’t been certified by any regulatory agency — its use is entirely at your own risk.

[Ildar] tells us the hardware will be available soon and should cost under $250, making it one of the most affordable BCI development platforms out there. As with his earlier PiEEG project, the hope is that basing the system around a common device in the hacker and maker scene will help democratize access to BCI research.

22 thoughts on “ArdEEG Lowers The Cost Of Brain-Computer Interfaces

    1. I’d love to see the effectiveness of using one while doing tasks on the computer or playing games and see if you can use the data to train an AI for especially good hands-free control setup.

    2. There’s also EMG, which is like EEG but for muscles. The EMG signal is stronger than EEG, so is easier to detect.

      You can use EMG sensors on your face and mouth to control an AI avatar face, for instance. You speak, the system measured your EMG profile, then makes the avatar mouth move in the same way.

      Or you can use EMG sensors on relatively unused portion of your body – your chest, for example – to control a remote device such as a robotic arm. EMG sensors on the pecs, delts, lats, and abdomen give you a lot of control dimensions.

      It *might* be possible to use EMG to measure sub-vocal speech, so you can communicate with something without actually speaking.

      So far as I can tell, no one has done 3d FFT processing on EEG signals in the manner of tomography to determine which sections of the brain are being used. The resolution would be poor, but you might be able to determine which general areas of the brain are being used.

      …and then detect infrequent anomalies in brain usage.

  1. 350 smackers, and it doesn’t even include the required RPi… I guess “low cost” is a relative term, as in “low cost compared to an Apple Vision Pro”.

        1. My God, you actually doubled-down on it instead of just reading the post.

          That link literally appears nowhere in this article. This post is about the Arduino-based EEG device, not the earlier Pi one from the same developer.

          The Pi version is $350, the Arduino version will be < $250 and is not yet available for purchase.

  2. For what it’s worth, be careful. The FDA offers guidance on BCI. Though the guidance is for implantables they state that use of non-implantables should still reach out to the FDA. (

    You should understand this is a not risk free. EEG and their cutaneous electrodes are both Class 2 devices. This means you cannot sell them in the US without FDA clearance. I suspect these guys are complete amateurs and don’t even realize how close they are to skirting or potentially breaking the law. An example is if you order from openbci, you have to lie about what it is because it will get stopped at customs in Europe. On the damn order page it says use this shipping code which is undeniably a lie. (,not%20exceeding%201000%20v%2C%20fit)

    If you were to buy one to run a small study on ANYONE, it would require approval from an IRB. Part of that would be explaining what you are doing and safety assessment. This device PLUGS INTO MAINS through the computer with no protection. Even if you ran off battery the computer battery is 12V whcih would require more protection, which doesn’t even matter because because it COULD be plugged in.

    The person who designed this quite honestly has no clue how much risk they are taking on trying to sell this.

    This is using an ADS1299 and it doesn’t even comply with the DC limits allowed when using lead off detection of 24uA. The limit is 10ua. This is just one example.

    1. Hi, actually, It is not a medical device
      “ardEEG is not a medical device and has not been certified by any government regulatory agency for use with the human body. You are fully responsible for your personal decision to purchase this device and, ultimately, for its safe use.”

      and device must be connected only via battery 5V with full isolation from power source

    2. about battery – “PiEEG devices connection are engineered to draw power exclusively from low-voltage DC sources, such as batteries, only with 5 V and are not compatible not under any circumstances (for any tasks) with power sources from the grid, power outlets, USB ports, etc.”

      1. Labeling is not likely enough means of reducing risk. So someone who doesn’t read the manual is just assuming risk? How many manuals do you read? This is just more proof of amateur status on something the gov/irbs takes seriously. It clearly is intended to record EEG. I mean it says it in the name of the product. You guys are vastly underestimating the risks of a device that could be directly connected to a subject and mains with zero means of protection. The only reason they aren’t in trouble is because they are flying under the radar, not because it’s low risk.

        1. of course I read manual before to use any new device. I wonder why everyone writes them then?.
          again it is clearly clarified everywhere where is it possible, it is not medical device, just like any smart watch does not make it medical because it reads ECG
          which Radar ? and at least one link can be given that there is a violation here, other than just words

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