Home Bots & Brains MIT Explores Brain-Robot Interface with Ddog Project

MIT Explores Brain-Robot Interface with Ddog Project

by Pieter Werner

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are developing the Ddog project, an initiative that combines the Spot robot from Boston Dynamics with a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) system. The BCI system, powered by AttentivU, employs a pair of wireless glasses to measure a person’s Electroencephalography (EEG – brain activity) and Electrooculography (EOG – eye movements) signals.

The Ddog project represents an advancement in the Brain Switch application, a real-time, closed-loop BCI system designed to translate simple user needs to a caretaker non-verbally. The Brain Switch is primarily aimed at facilitating basic communication for individuals with physical challenges such as ALS, CP, and SCI. Ddog is constructed using the same technology stack and infrastructure as the Brain Switch.

A significant feature of the Ddog is its mobility. It’s the first fully autonomous, brain-powered, wireless system that utilizes a Spot robot. The system operates on two iPhones and eliminates the need for adhesive electrodes and backpacks traditionally used for computing in similar setups.

Designed with manipulation assistance in mind, the Spot robot’s arm in the Ddog system is programmed to perform tasks such as delivering groceries, bringing a chair, a book, or a toy. This functionality is intended to provide practical assistance in various scenarios. The MIT team continues to develop and refine the Ddog project, exploring the potential of BCI systems in enhancing the quality of life for individuals with physical challenges.

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