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The role of audio-visual feedback in a thought-based control of a humanoid robot: a BCI study in healthy and spinal cord injured people

Tidoni, Emmanuele; Gergondet, Pierre; Fusco, Gabriele; Kheddar, Abderrahmane; Aglioti, Salvatore M.

Authors

Pierre Gergondet

Gabriele Fusco

Abderrahmane Kheddar

Salvatore M. Aglioti

Abstract

© 2016 IEEE. The efficient control of our body and successful interaction with the environment are possible through the integration of multisensory information. Brain-computer interface (BCI) may allow people with sensorimotor disorders to actively interact in the world. In this study, visual information was paired with auditory feedback to improve the BCI control of a humanoid surrogate. Healthy and spinal cord injured (SCI) people were asked to embody a humanoid robot and complete a pick-and-place task by means of a visual evoked potentials BCI system. Participants observed the remote environment from the robot's perspective through a head mounted display. Human-footsteps and computer-beep sounds were used as synchronous/asynchronous auditory feedback. Healthy participants achieved better placing accuracy when listening to human footstep sounds relative to a computer-generated sound. SCI people demonstrated more difficulty in steering the robot during asynchronous auditory feedback conditions. Importantly, subjective reports highlighted that the BCI mask overlaying the display did not limit the observation of the scenario and the feeling of being in control of the robot. Overall, the data seem to suggest that sensorimotor-related information may improve the control of external devices. Further studies are required to understand how the contribution of residual sensory channels could improve the reliability of BCI systems.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2017-06
Journal IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Print ISSN 1534-4320
Electronic ISSN 1558-0210
Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 6
Pages 772-781
Institution Citation Tidoni, E., Gergondet, P., Fusco, G., Kheddar, A., & Aglioti, S. M. (2017). The role of audio-visual feedback in a thought-based control of a humanoid robot: a BCI study in healthy and spinal cord injured people. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 25(6), 772-781. https://doi.org/10.1109/tnsre.2016.2597863
DOI https://doi.org/10.1109/tnsre.2016.2597863
Keywords Body ownership; Brain-computer interface (BCI); Humanoid; Spinal cord injury; Steady state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP); Teleoperation