BrainAbleProject reference: 247447
Funded under: FP7-ICT
Autonomy and social inclusion through mixed reality Brain-Computer Interfaces: Connecting the disabled to their physical and social world
Total cost:EUR 2 976 945
EU contribution:EUR 2 300 000
Call for proposal:FP7-ICT-2009-4
Funding scheme:CP - Collaborative project (generic)
Motor disabilities of people arising from any origin have a dramatic effect on their quality of life. Some examples of neurologic nature include a person suffering from a severe brain injury resulting from a car collision or individuals who have suffered a brain stroke. For years, the severely disabled have learned to cope with their restricted autonomy, impacting on their daily activities like moving around or turning on the lights and ability for social interaction.\\n\\n
The project is about empowering them and pursues to mitigate the limitations of the everyday life to which they are confronted to. BrainAble is an innovative platform designed with a user centric approach to improve physical and social independence, facilitate active living and improve quality of life of people with different degrees and types of disabilities and potentially anybody with special needs. It is a modular system which facilitates the interaction of humans with computers through the last generation of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI), which require no training, easy setup, and adaptive configurations to meet any user requirements, especially those of the severely disabled. Furthermore, a user with evolving functional diversity is offered to interact with BrainAble using alternative assistive technologies combined or not with BCI techniques.
Through BrainAble, a disabled user may now interact with other people using email, facebook or twitter; control a wheelchair, lights, TV, blinds and doors; play games and navigate virtual communities; use and enjoy a range of digital devices and services which were not designed to be used by disabled people and which BrainAble offers in a smart, context-aware and assistive way.
BrainAble has been developed by a multidisciplinary team of therapists, carers, engineers and researchers in the frontier of neuroscience, signal processing, assistive technologies and machine learning; and is already impacting the growing market of accessible, inclusive and assistive products from a novel perspective.
BrainAble will conceive, research, design, implement and validate an ICT-based human computer interface (HCI) composed of BNCI sensors combined with affective computing and virtual environments. This combination will dramatically improve the quality of life of people with disabilities by overcoming the two main shortcomings they suffer - exclusion from home and social activities - by providing inner functional independence for daily life activities and autonomy (HCI connected to accessible and interoperable home and urban automation) and outer social inclusion (HCI connected to advanced and adapted social networks services).\nIn terms of HCI, BrainAble will improve both direct and indirect interaction with computers. Direct control will be upgraded by creating tools that allow people to control those inner and outer environments using a "hybrid Brain Computer Interface (BCI) system (BCIs, Electro Oculogram (EOG), Electromyography (EMG), and Heart Rate). Furthermore, BNCI information will be used for indirect interaction, such as by changing interface or overall system parameters based on measures of boredom, confusion, frustration, or information overload. These self-adaptive tools will increase effective bandwidth because users will be able to use a plurality of signals to effect control, and also because adaptation will reduce errors and help provide the user with the desired control. BrainAble's HCI will be complemented by an intelligent Virtual Reality-based user interface with avatars and scenarios that will help disabled people to move around on their wheelchairs, interact with all sort of devices, create self-expression assets using music, pictures and text, communicate online and offline with other people, play games to counteract cognitive decline, and get trained in new functionalities and tasks.
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