Having an interest in Brain Computer Interface (BCI) hardware, and with the release of the Emotiv EPOC headset, I decided to invest in the Research Edition. The research edition comes bundled with the research version of the SDK. The benefit of this version of the SDK is that we also have access to the raw EEG outputs from each channel, as well as a piece of software called TestBench that allow for saving/replaying sessions.

The headset itself comes almost ready to go, just attach the felt pads and wet them with saline. Affixing the headset to the head is a bit difficult the first few times and requires a bit of practice. Once you’ve done it a few times, it becomes a lot easier. The key is getting each of the felt pads absolutely soaking wet with saline before putting it on the head.

I’m going to be using the headset for a number of different purposes. As a BCI, I intend to use it to manipulate the robot, and probably in future other more useful tasks. Separately, I plan to use it to monitor sleep and meditation sessions which are a separate area of interest of mine.

In a previous post, I showed how it was possible to control the robot using voice commands. Here, I’ve modified the voice control script to handle simple keystrokes instead. The Emotiv control panel comes with a tool called ‘Emokey’ that can issue defined keystrokes when certain actions are detected within the control panel. Here’s a video:

The purpose is really to show how simple it is to interface with any regular program/script using EmoKey. There are other more exciting possibilities such as directing music based on the Affectiv suit. The Affectiv suite deals in mind states such as frustration, alertness, meditation, etc.