Research ArticlePROSTHETICS

Hybrid EEG/EOG-based brain/neural hand exoskeleton restores fully independent daily living activities after quadriplegia

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Science Robotics  06 Dec 2016:
Vol. 1, Issue 1, eaag3296
DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aag3296

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  • RE: Non-invasive brain-machine-interface concepts for everyday use – a step forward
    • Andreas Otte, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Offenburg University, Offenburg, Germany
    • Other Contributors:
      • Harald Hoppe, Professor of Medical Informatics, Offenburg University, Offenburg, Germany

    The research article from Soekadar et al. (Sci Robotics 6 Dec 2016) (1) on a fully independent hybrid electroencephalography (EEG)/electrooculography (EOG)-based brain/neural hand exoskeleton approach is most timely, as it raises an essentially critical point in the, without doubt, exciting and highly progressing neuroprosthetics/neurorobotics arena:

    • Do we always need or wish brain-machine-interface (BMI) systems which are so complex and invasive that they are–up to now–not applicable outside a laboratory environment?

    Portable, non-invasive and easy to use devices may be the solution as outlined by Soekadar et al. (1) who chose simple EEG with five recording sites in combination with standard EOG retrieving horizontal oculoversions. For this idea, other components may also be considered, e.g., real-time portable functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), although EEG seems to have the better temporal resolution and yet has the advantage of sensing the continuous electrical brain activity and not only the relative perfusion differences between two conditions as is possible with fNIRS.

    Besides, in the near future, non-invasive BMIs will benefit from emerging technologies such as augmented reality. Optical see-through glasses (OSTG) with built-in eye gaze tracking capabilities will be combined with robotic devices, e.g., hand exoskeletons, raising the man-machine interface to the next level. Cameras integrated in the OSTG and/or the robotic devic...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.