Several years ago, a company called Neurosky came out with an interesting chipset meant to be put in an EEG headset. This chipset would track your brainwaves, do some fancy math, and output a few numbers based on the Delta, Gamma, Alpha, and Beta waves in your brain. Of course, the senseable thing to do with this technology would be to put it in a Star Wars-branded toy where you pretend to be a Jedi. All was good with the world, and a few people hacked these Jedi Mind Trainers for some interesting builds.
But the Neurosky chip was still a black box. No one knew how it worked. The ‘concentration’ number had no relation to anything, except how hard you were apparently concentrating. In an effort to break this black box and build upon years worth of EEG hacks, [Curt White] is hacking a fitness tracker for EEG analysis for his entry into the Hackaday Prize.
The hardware in question for this build is a B20 Fitness Tracker, an ungodly cheap piece of hardware that contains an ADS1292 bioimpedance sensor that can be used for ECG, EMG, and EEG. There’s also an nRF microcontroller with Bluetooth that’s easily programmed with an Arduino. All the building blocks are there.
Right now, [Curt] has successfully opened up one of these fitness trackers and has done enough of a teardown to get the data off of the bioimpedence sensor. The trick now is to emulate the ‘concentration’ and ‘relaxation’ values the Neurosky chip puts out. This is fairly difficult, as what these values actually mean in terms of brainwaves is a bit opaque, but [Curt] has some filters and some tools to pull data from the brain and output something. Now it’s just a question of outputting the right values.
It’s a fantastic hack, that is sure to be a lot more affordable than buying some old Star Wars toys or paying a licensing fee to Neurosky. This is commodity hardware hacked to do something it was never intended to do, and an excellent entry to this year’s Hackaday Prize.
So [DARPA] wants to start hacking human brains, With the help of the biomedical device center at the university of Texas in Dallas. This does sound a bit crazy but DARPA does crazy. Conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day with this one.
The initial plans to turn us all into mindless zombies seem to be shelved for now, however they are working on what they call Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT), which they explain means using the body’s nervous system to enhance and speed up the learning process. This could be achieved by using a process known as ‘synaptic plasticity‘ which opens and closes the brains synapses with electrical stimulation. They hope that by tuning the neural networks responsible for cognitive function it will enhance learning. Let’s just hope they don’t turn any humans into DARPA falling robots.
Moscow artist [Dmitry Morozov] makes phenomenal geek-art. (That’s not disrespect — rather the highest praise.) And with Solaris, he’s done it again.
The piece itself looks like something out of a sci-fi or horror movie. Organic black forms coalesce and fade away underneath a glowing pool of green fluid. (Is it antifreeze?) On deeper inspection, the blob is moving in correspondence with a spectator’s brain activity. Cool.
You should definitely check out the videos. We love to watch ferrofluid just on its own — watching it bubble up out of a pool of contrasting toxic-green ooze is icing on the cake. Our only wish is that the camera spent more time on the piece itself.
Two minutes into the first video we get a little peek behind the curtain, and of course it’s done with an Arduino, a couple of motors, and a large permanent magnet. Move the motor around with input from an Epoc brain-activity sensor and you’re done. As with all good art, though, the result is significantly greater than the sum of its parts.
[Dmitry’s] work has been covered many, many times already on Hackaday, but he keeps turning out the gems. We could watch this one for hours.
Adafruit tears down a set of brainwave cat ears. They’re made by Necomimi and use your brain waves to adjust a pair of plush cat ears on the headgear.
If your desktop computer is sitting on the floor you may have damaged USB dongles by hitting them with your knees. [Megacier] prevents this from happening again by building a flexible dongle link.
Can anyone help [Brian Benchoff] find a datasheet for this International Rectifier 92-O350 so he can fix up his old VT100 terminal?
Here’s a quick example of how to graph data from a Raspberry Pi on the sen.se cloud service.
Have some extra fun with your oscilloscope by displaying any image. This set of conversions starts with a picture and ends with an audio file that will draw it on the scope’s screen.
You’ve probably already heard that the Sikorsky Prize for human powered helicopter has been claimed. If you didn’t see any footage of the flight now’s your chance. [Thanks Adam]
Most project tips involving brainwaves get passed over because it’s hard to make much out of that type of control. This project doesn’t necessarily make progress on the control side on this, but you have to admit that herding life forms with your thoughts deserves a closer look.
[Geva] set up a rig that allows him to interact with paramecium — tiny single cell organism that are happy to swim around all day long. Just like vertebrates they’re not big fans of electric shocks. Run some current through the fluid and they’ll swim toward the negative electrode.
This experiment uses four pencil leads as electrodes. These are driven by an Arduino which reacts to the input from a toy brain wave device. Concentrate in just the right way and they will swim wherever you will them to.
This isn’t quite as involved as cockroach mind control, but it’s every bit as interesting
Continue reading “Herd single cell organisms with your mind”
[Jeri Ellsworth] had a bright idea – a brain-activated light bulb that floats above your head. While out and about, she saw some guy with a video game icon attached to metal rod sticking out of his backpack. The rod made the icon appear to be floating above his head (think The Sims), which was the inspiration for this LED powered light bulb. The bulb is connected to a metal rod, as well as a metal hoop which is springy enough to keep a pair of electrodes snugly attached to your head.
Those electrodes, along with a third probe used for noise reference, are hooked up to a AD620 instrumentation amplifier. With the help of op amps, it modulates the red or green LEDs that are attached to the back side of the light bulb. The end result is an amusing way to show brain activity while being grilled on a Q/A panel, or while just wandering around taking in all the amazing sights presented at Maker Faire.
Join us after the break for a video demonstration.
Continue reading “A Bright Idea”
Reader [Eric] sent us a powerfully informative, yet super simple hack for the MindFlex toy. Don’t worry, it’s not another worthless shock ‘game’, And it’s using an actual interface instead of the built-in LEDs.
With two wires for the serial protocol, and an Arduino, you’ll be able to view “signal strength, attention, meditation, delta, theta, low alpha, high alpha, low beta, high beta, low gamma, high gamma” brainwaves. While it’s not medical grade, it’s a lot more intuitive than previous interfaces.
The original intent was for a system called MentalBlock, but we’re wondering what would you do with brainwave data?