Mind Controlled Robot

Mind Controlled Robot - A device to make paralyzed people control their movements using brain waves.

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There are more than 5.6 million paralyzed people in US. Most of them constantly rely on their family members or caretakers to move to different places. There is a lot of research going on to help paralyzed people control their movements using their brain. In this project “Mind Controlled Robot” I controlled a simple robot using brain waves. The ultimate goal of my project is to control a wheelchair or a prosthetic arm using the brain waves so that paralyzed people like my favorite scientist “Stephen Hawkins” can be more self-reliant.

I constructed the Mind-Controlled Robot prototype using an Arduino micro controller and Mindwave Electroencephalogram (EEG) headset. The EEG Headsets measures the brain activity, quantifies it and sends it to the Arduino through an RF Dongle. I used this value to control the movement of a simple robot I constructed using a motor controller. I controlled the speed of the motor using the attention value returned by the

The goal of my Mind-Controlled Robot project is to design a robot which can be controlled using brain waves. As a next step to this project, I want to design a wheelchair and prosthetic arms & legs which can be controlled using brain waves. This will help paralyzed people be more self-reliant. There are over 5 million paralyzed people in US. I developed the final prototype using the Mindwave headset and the Arduino microcontroller. I used a technique called EEG (electroencephalogram) to read the brain activity. I used the attention value read by the EEG headset to control the robot.

Currently, paralyzed people rely heavily on others. However, with electroencephalography, this can all change. Using this technology, paralyzed people can control technology just as well as a non-paralyzed person does.

The Mind-Controlled Robot prototype was constructed using an Arduino microcontroller, the Mindwave NeuroSky RF dongle, and a chassis. The NeuroSky RF dongle was programmed to communicate with the Arduino. In the program the attention value was set to the motor speed, which made it move faster when the concentration was at a higher value. The goal was then to make the robot turn if the attention value from the Mindwave was less than a threshold. This would help the user move more effectively. The product was tested with different age groups. During the test, the test subject got into a focused state of mind, and the data range from the serial monitor was taken for the focused group of data. Then, the test subject would be unfocused for a period of time and the data range from the serial monitor was taken. Readings were taken in the manner stated for 3 test subjects for each age group, and the results were graphed. The threshold was found to be 40 percent. The results were consistent throughout all age groups. The robot performed as programmed, and functioned well throughout all of the tests.


Mind Controlled Robot - Arduino Program

document - 20.65 kB - 04/24/2016 at 04:23



Mind Controlled Robots Comparison

presentation - 92.00 kB - 04/24/2016 at 04:20



Mind controlled robot - Test and results

presentation - 104.26 kB - 04/24/2016 at 04:16



Mind Controlled Robot - Engineering Design

presentation - 742.15 kB - 04/24/2016 at 04:11



Mind Controlled Robot - Background Research

presentation - 53.18 kB - 04/24/2016 at 04:08


  • 1 × Mindwave Neurosky EEG headset
  • 1 × Arduino Uno Microcontroller
  • 1 × Mindwave RF Dongle
  • 1 × SN754410 - Motrol Controller
  • 1 × Two 3-6 volts DC servo motors

View all 20 components

  • Evolution of The Mind-Controlled Robot

    adithya.shak.kumar05/28/2016 at 19:12 0 comments

    I constructed the mind control robot using the Mindwave EEG headset, Arduino UNO and a motor controller (SN754410). I read the brain activity of the user using the EEG headset. I constructed the robot using the Arduino Uno and the motor controller. The motor controller was used for controlling the direction and the speed of the servo motors I used for the robot. The brain activity recorded by the Mindwave headset was transmitted to the Arduino Uno using an RF dongle.

    I used the attention value transmitted by the Mindwave headset to control the robot. The Mindwave headset transmitted the attention value as a stream of bytes. The format of each packet was <Number of bytes sent> <Type> <Value> <checksum>, where the Number of bytes sent signifies the total number of bytes sent in the packet, Type denotes the type of value transmitted (attention, meditation, etc) by the headset, Value is the actual value and the checksum is used for validating if the packet is read in full. I programmed the Arduino to extract the attention value from the bytes transmitted. If the attention value read by the headset is above a particular threshold, I moved the robot forward. I increased the speed of the servo motors based on the attention value returned by the Mindwave headset. So if the more the user focuses, the more the speed of the motor would be. I did this by multiplying the maximum speed of the motor by the attention value (which was expressed as a percentage). So if the user is fully focusing, thus having an attention value of 1, the speed of the motor will be at its maximum. The same way, if the attention value is less than the threshold, I turned the robot left by making the right motor alone to move and make the left motor stop.

    Since the robot was heavily relying on the attention value returned from the headset, I wanted to test the attention value returned by the headset for users of different ages. I took the attention value returned from the headset when the subject was focused and unfocused. I took readings for test subjects in the age of 7 to 49 and the results were plotted in a graph. The values found for the various age group is as follows:







    35 TO 88

    16 TO 35



    42 TO 76

    20 TO 40



    40 TO 94

    8 TO 40



    38 TO 85

    24 TO 38



    40 TO 88

    35 TO 40



    44 TO 92

    25 TO 44



    40 TO 100

    21 TO 40



    38 TO 96

    26 TO 38

    I found that the attention value was more than 40 for most of the subjects when they are focused. I used this value as the attention threshold which was used for deciding whether the robot moves forward or turn.

View project log

  • 1
    Step 1

    Attach the servos onto the servo mounts using 4 nuts and 4 bolts.

  • 2
    Step 2

    Attach the servo mounts onto the chassis with the L-brackets and screws.

  • 3
    Step 3

    Attach the wheels to the mounted servo motors

View all 26 instructions

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sunjason586 wrote 03/17/2021 at 03:49 point

I  followed your mindwave project but it does not work. The RF dongle and the hedsets have no response.  I used Elegoo Smart Robot Car Kit V3.0, and the RF dongle is also provided by the skits. I am not sure if I need to buy a mindwave RF dongle

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lalitakhadav15 wrote 01/08/2019 at 12:13 point

You did a great job!!.. I'm also working on this project (Prosthetic Hand). As per my knowledge Arduino is not that much smart to decide on its own. So don't u think so, it needed some interfacing platform (Eg; MatLab). Plz do correct me if I'm wrong.

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Saravanan12799 wrote 08/15/2018 at 03:20 point

I am doing my project based on EEG signals..... Can you explain a bit more about this project... Mail id: Can you please

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Isuru Thiwanka wrote 03/23/2018 at 09:29 point

Dear Sir,

I hope to do my final year research with mind wave signals (EEG) and I wanna to know how EEG head set works,   how  to get signals (how to get digital outputs from eeg head-set) and connect them with any micro-controller.. etc... And also I wanna to know what are good eeg head set available in market...Could you please help me.. This is my email :

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rhudsonsamuel wrote 07/03/2016 at 14:55 point

Your project is good but i can't see your model.Only i can see your circuit boards.Is there any video about this wonderful and amazing thing for getting more knowledge about that?

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