Weeks 9-10


This week we shifted our focus away from general brainstorming to create 6-7 completed prototypes to show off at Maker Faire, ready ourselves for the crowdfunding campaign, and recruit new members. We took a break from research and hardware development to put the team's full effort into these goals.

Maker Faire

The Rochester Mini Maker Faire, November 16-17, will be the first public showcase of our technology. As such, the team has been pushing hard to refine our systems to focus on accuracy, lower setup time, and build cases to contain the electronics. Our goal for each project is to get accuracy above 90%, setup time under 30 seconds, and make all parts of the systems reusable.

EMG Morse Code

The EMG Morse Code project detects a 'dot' or a 'dash' based off of the duration of the detected muscle clench. From the collected sequence of dots and dashes, the system prints a letter on a tiny LCD screen mounted on the device prints it directly to the computer. This system meets all of our requirements for efficiency, accuracy, and ease of use. It is just waiting final assembly.

Project Lead: Spencer Logan

Neopixel Adaptive Bracelets

8 - 10 RBG LED pixels in a strip that change color and intensity based off of level of muscle activation. This project goes in many directions. In its simplest form, these will be made into bracelets to serve as a visual representation of EMG signals. These strips will also be integrated into most of the other projects, again, to act as a visual representation of the raw EMG data.

Project Lead: Hillary Li

Prosthetic Under $100

The goal of this project is to produce a single channel (open and close functions) EMG-controlled 3D printed prosthetic with a total production cost of under $100. We have partnered with Jade Myers of RIT's PORTAL lab to build a custom prosthetic for this purpose.

Project Lead: George Stollsteimer

EMG Activated Tiger Head

We 3D printed a Tiger head which will be outfitted with a speaker and LED eyes. The goal is to activate the eyes and a 'roaring' sound effect when our system senses the user signing the ASL word "tiger."

Project Leads: Russell Cobb, Kenny Kim, and Jisook Moon

*** The following projects are intended to be used by event attendees. We will not run more than two of these projects at any given time.

EEG Controlled RC Helicopter

Mattel's Mindflex was the first largely successful game and commercial product based on EEG. It uses a simple single channel EEG electrode to move a ball up and down. Two NXT researchers took apart the receiver with the goal of using it to control an RC helicopter via changing brain waves. There were several hiccups in testing, but we have been able to receive reliable signals. Reid was able to turn the helicopter on and off using and EEG signal threshold, but is working on controlling it with more of a gradient.

Project Lead: Reid Kovacs


The goal of this project is to control all four directions of an RC car using EMG signals (on/off or above/below the threshold). This project has seen several iterations. In the most recent video in the repository, you will see Niko Procopi with tape all over his chest, wires going in all different directions, and 6 boards. Since then, he has condensed the system onto two boards using the OpenBCI GUI (no tape required). The accuracy is still lower than we would like, but we are on the right track to get it done by the 16th.

Project Lead: Niko Procopi

Flappy Bird Game

This is a single channel game controller that can be setup to any 1 button game. This has many rehabilitation implications, but for this event, we will be using the popular game, Flappy Bird, to drive interest in the project.

This is the very first project that we have our researchers do when they join the team. As such, we have several versions and it is working very well. All that we need to do now is design an enclosure and wire it up!

Project Leads: Alex Hurley, Cameron Navas-Davis

Motion Mouse

We improved upon the open source project, Camera Mouse, by adding an EMG mouse click. Clicking is much more responsive making the overall system much more usable. We still need to work through some bugs, but test 1 showed promising results. Over the next week, we will refine our code and improve the form factor of the overall system. At Maker Faire we will allow people to demo it with a drawing application.

Branding and Crowdfunding

We plan to launch a crowdfunding campaign November 15th, just before the start of Maker Faire. We want the campaign to have reach far beyond personal connections so it is clear that some marketing and branding are needed. Caleb Ng, our in-house designer, created a logo and brand guidelines for NXT. In addition to getting a new logo, we changed the monogram / abbreviation from 'NTX' to 'NXT.'

After the brand guidelines were set, Jake Ellis created a Facebook page for the project. We plan on rolling out content on that page starting Friday (11/9).

Caleb also has been working on a promotional video for the group. He interviewed and filmed Spencer Logan, Reid Kovacs, Hillary Li, Russell Cobb, Niko Procopi, Kenny Kim, Colin Fausnaught, and me.

Additionally, Joshua Maroney and I are spearheading content creation for the campaign page and the Facebook Page

Team Growth

Since three researchers stepped down to participant status, Team Software and Team Biomed were in desperate need of new talent. With assistance from Gary Mendola, I worked with Naveen Sharma, the Professor and Chair of the Software Engineering Department, to recruit some new students into our project, specifically those with an interest in machine learning. This effort produced research participants Jisook Moon, Alex Hurley, and Jerry Xu.

A new researcher Forrest Shooster, a Biomedical Engineer and Game Development double major with a minor in Electrical Engineering joined the team. This addition was especially exciting because he has extensive knowledge and experience working with EEG and EMG devices.

George Stollsteimer, a SOIS student with extremely relevant experience and interest joined the team to drive our prosthetics projects.

We also brought on Carmen Navas-Davis, our first Industrial Engineer, to help turn all of our prototypes into more user friendly, more complete products.

Additionally, Gary Mendola and I met with the director of the Neuromorphic AI Lab, Dr. Dhireesha Kudithipudi, to discuss how to implement machine learning / neural networks into our systems. Dr. Kudithipudi was open to the idea of advising the NXT researchers that are focused on machine learning. This will be an invaluable resource to the team going forward.

This Period's Accomplishments & Events

  • George Stollsteimer, SOIS student with interests in robotics, joins the team. He will be spearheading the prosthetics projects (10/22)

  • Complex projects (using more than two channels) were shifted over to the OpenBCI GUI (10/23- 10/28)

  • Caleb Ng designs logo and brand guidelines for the project (Link) (10/25)

  • Colin and Harrison advance to finals in RIT's Tiger Tank (10/26)

  • Team Research is formalized (10/28)

  • Filming for crowdfunding campaign (10/28 - 11/1)

  • Forrest Shooster, a Biomedical Engineer and Game Development double major with minors in Electrical Engineering and Japanese, joins the team (10/29)

  • Jisook Moon, Software Engineer with ML aspirations joins Team Software (10/29)

  • Website is redesigned (10/31 - 11/2)

  • Alex Hurley, Software Engineer joins the team (11/1)

  • Finalized design for custom prosthetic with Jade Myers (11/1)

  • Jerry Xu, Software Engineer and machine learning specialist, joins Team Software (11/2)

  • Meeting with Machine Learning and Neural Network specialist, Dr. Dhireesha Kudithipudi (11/2)

  • Test 1 of the Mindflex EEG RC Controller (Link) (11/3)

  • Carmen Navas-Davis, Industrial Designer, joins the team to help with usability and turn prototypes into finished projects (11/5)

  • Kevin Barnett, Software Engineer, joins Team Software (11/6)

  • Colin and Harrison win second place in RIT's Tiger Tank competition securing $1250 for the EMGo project (Slides) (11/5)

  • Prototype 1 for the Motion Mouse project, an EMG and eye tracking mouse system, is built. (Link) (11/7)