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A BCI-controlled robotic assistant for quadriplegic people in domestic and professional life

  • Sorin M. Grigorescu (a1), Thorsten Lüth (a2), Christos Fragkopoulos (a2), Marco Cyriacks (a2) and Axel Gräser (a2)...

Summary

In this paper, a Brain–Computer Interface (BCI) control approach for the assistive robotic system FRIEND is presented. The objective of the robot is to assist elderly and persons with disabilities in their daily and professional life activities. FRIEND is presented here from an architectural point of view, that is, as an overall robotic device that includes many subareas of research, such as human–robot interaction, perception, object manipulation and path planning, robotic safety, and so on. The integration of the hardware and software components is described relative to the interconnections between the various elements of FRIEND and the approach used for human–machine interaction. Since the robotic system is intended to be used especially by patients suffering from a high degree of disability (e.g., patients which are quadriplegic, have muscle diseases or serious paralysis due to strokes, or any other diseases with similar consequences for their independence), an alternative non-invasive BCI has been investigated. The FRIEND–BCI paradigm is explained within the overall structure of the robot. The capabilities of the robotic system are demonstrated in three support scenarios, one that deals with Activities of daily living (ADL) and two that are taking place in a rehabilitation workshop. The proposed robot was clinically evaluated through different tests that directly measure task execution time and hardware performance, as well as the acceptance of robot by end-users.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. email: s.grigorescu@unitbv.ro

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