Abstract

Brain computer interface (BCI) systems are developed in biomedical fields to increase the quality of life. The development of a six class BCI controller to operate a semi-autonomous robotic arm is presented. The controller uses the following mental tasks: imagined left/right hand squeeze, imagined left/right foot tap, rest, one physical task, and jaw clench. To design a controller, the locations of active electrodes are verified and an appropriate machine learning algorithm is determined. Three subjects, ages ranging between 22-27, participated in five sessions of motor imagery experiments to record their brainwaves. These recordings were analyzed using event related potential plots and topographical maps to determine active electrodes. BCILAB was used to train two, three, five, and six class BCI controllers using linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and relevance vector machine (RVM) machine learning methods. The subjects' data was used to compare the two-method's performance in terms of error rate percentage. While a two class BCI controller showed the same accuracy for both methods, the three and five class BCI controllers showed the RVM approach having a higher accuracy than the LDA approach. For the five-class controller, error rate percentage was 33.3% for LDA and 29.2% for RVM. The six class BCI controller error rate percentage for both LDA and RVM was 34.5%. While the percentage values are the same, RVM was chosen as the desired machine learning algorithm based on the trend seen in the three and five class controller performances.

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