BrainAble

BrainAble Project Logo BrainAble will develop a multimodal interface via Brain/Neuronal Computer Interaction (BNCI) and affective computing for motor disabled people to get trained, interact with their living environments and join social networks.

In BrainAble, an EU FP 7 financed project, the consortium will address the problem of the dramatic reduction of life quality of patients with motor disabilities. The consortium will research, conceive, design, implement and validate an ICT-based HCI (Human Computer Interface) composed of BCNI sensors combined with affective computing and virtual environments to restore and augment the two main shortcomings of people with disabilities - 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) - which will dramatically improve their quality of life.

The inner virtual environment allows home automation control, which augments a user's functional capabilities and autonomy: apply control and automation techniques for the autonomy, comfort and security of the user in his living environment modifying it as little as possible, by creating a wireless, light and open home and

urban automation network empowered by the Universal Remote Console (URC) standard for accessibility and interoperability of devices. Through a "BNCI + affective computing" interface to an audio-visual virtual environment, the user will be able to interact with and manage his accessible living environment, which will include elements such as lighting, natural lighting, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC), audio, video, security (intrusion, fire, gas, water), intercoms, wheelchair, home robotics and other home devices (garage door, front door, security camera, television, pet and plant feeding and watering) as well as URC-compliant urban devices such as Automatic Teller Machine (ATM), traffic-lights or information displays.

The outer virtual environment connecs users to social network services to augment their social inclusion, enabling access to online communities of people who share interests and activities. A new trend is emerging with social networks created to help their members with various physical and mental ailments to share self-expression assets, experiences and knowledge, as well as provide tools for health tracking. Social interaction between users will be synchronous/online (like in a conversation) and asynchronous/offline (like in a mail relationship), according to the context. It is crucial to have the user community involved to avoid false or unproven expectations.

In BrainAble, g.tec takes part in system integration and development of the BNCI system. For developing the BrainAble prototype, a rapid prototyping environment is applied and developed. Therefore, interfaces to the different applications technologies for realizing the social environments, the virtual reality and the smart home have to be investigated. The rapid prototyping system allows the project partners a fast and easy implementation of algorithms for analyzing physiological data and for implementing the user friendly control interface.

The consortium is represented by the leader Fundació Barcelona Digital Centre Tecnològic (BDCT) and the partners Technische Universitaet Graz (TUG), Universitaet Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Meticube Sistemas de Informação and Comunicação e Multimedia, Lda. (METI), Guger Technologies OG (g.tec), AbilityNet (ANET) and Fundació Privada Institut de Neurorehabilitació Guttmann (FPING).