Thought-Controlled Wheelchair

The thought-controlled wheelchair team is working towards a low-cost brain-computer interface (BCI) based on electroencephalography (EEG) - a non-invasive technology that records the electrical activity of the brain. The BCI will provide high-level control instructions to an intelligent, semi-autonomous wheelchair control system that can accurately navigate complex and changing environments. The team is exploring the possibility of making the system available as a retrofit to pre-existing electric wheelchairs, keeping costs low. This thought-based control scheme is particularly useful for individuals with locked-in syndrome, including total locked-in syndrome, where the individual has no control over voluntary muscles.

This project concept was brought to RIT by NXT co-founder and previous project lead, Colin Fausnaught. Initially, the project used electromyography (EMG) to detect facial muscle contractions as a means of control. With this EMG-based wheelchair control concept, Colin lead teams to win 1st place at the Destler Health Challenge at Imagine RIT in 2017, 2nd place at the Access Technology Conference in 2017, and 2nd place in the Fall 2018 Tiger Tank at RIT.

Lead: Adam Del Rosso

4th-year student in the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, majoring in Software Engineering with a minor in Economics. Adam joined NXT in the Spring of 2019 and moved into the lead position for the wheelchair project before the Fall of 2019.

Outside of NXT, Adam is involved in multiple musical groups, including the Brick City Singers at RIT, and Brightside - a barbershop quartet. He regularly competes internationally with his barbershop groups, most recently in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Andrew Dettor

1st-year student at the University of Rochester, majoring in Data Science and Psychology.

Outside of school, Andrew likes rock climbing, weight training, and learning more about Data Science!

Andrew Doran

5th-year student in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Economics.

Andrew also enjoys photography, hiking, and cooking when not in school.

Nathaniel Zhang

Dual degree student at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Rochester majoring in Piano Performance and Neuroscience respectively. Nathaniel is currently a researcher in the Wheelchair team and is contributing to the developing U of R team and HSR team.

Besides having a strong passion for classical music, Nathaniel has a very open mind for new ideas, an avid interest in chess, an intense ambition to do well in piano and neuroscience, an unwavering discipline to get things done, and a creative vision for the future of NXT.

Arthur Thompson Johnson

3rd-year student at RIT, Arthur studied industrial design for two years, and has since switched majors to study Mechanical Engineering at the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Outside of school Arthur keeps himself busy with projects, and has recently developed an infatuation with origami.