Projects now. Publications soon...
MindRider is a helmet that translates electroencephalogram (EEG) feedback into an embedded LED display. For the wearer, green lights indicate a focused, active mental state, while red lights indicate drowsiness, anxiety, and other states not conducive to operating a bike or vehicle. Flashing red lights indicate extreme anxiety (panic). As many people return to cycling as a primary means of transportation, MindRider can support safety by adding visibility and increased awareness to the cyclist/motorist interaction process.
In future versions, MindRider may be outfitted with an expanded set of EEG contacts, proximity sensors, non-helmet wearable visualization, and other features that will increase the cyclist's awareness of self and environment. These features may also allow for hands-free control of cycle function. A networked set of MindRiders may be useful for tracking, trauma, and disaster situations.
Powering up the MindRider.
MindRider consists of an altered bicycle helmet, a single electrode EEG device (I used the NeuroSky MindSet), an Arduino (I used a Pro, but any will do), a bluetooth radio (I used a Bluetooth Mate), an RGB LED light strip, 3 transistors to control the light colors, and a 9V battery. The bluetooth radio is used simply for the MindSet to communicate with the Arduino. The schematic and Arduino sketch are below. The sketch is a little messy, so write to me if you have questions.
Arduino sketch: Helmet02.pde
NeuroSky's MindSet+Arduino Tech Doc
Lady Ada's RGB LED strip tutorial
I may write up a full biblography later, but in the meantime, here is a zip file of relevant BCI (brain computer interface) research.
Thanks to Henry Holtzman, Matt Hirsch for serial communcation troubleshooting, and my brother Amon for taking the photos above.