Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Unlock Project?

The Unlock Project was a multi-university initiative to provide brain-machine interface (BMI) technology to individuals suffering from locked-in syndrome. The project, which ran from 2009 to 2016 was funded by NSF. Further research into BMI technology is taking place under different funding sources by the labs associated with the project.

  • What is Locked-In Syndrome?

Locked-in syndrome is a condition in which a person is cognitively competent (aware and awake) but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete or near complete paralysis of the muscles in the body.

  • What is Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) Technology?  How does it work?
    Click to watch a short video of a brain-controlled wheelchair

    Click to watch a video of a brain-controlled wheelchair

A BMI (sometimes called a brain computer interface, mind-machine interface or direct neural interface) is a device that measures brain signals and uses them to control a computer.

The Python-based BMI software we developed relies on electroencephalography (EEG) or electromyography (EMG) inputs, which are totally non-invasive, thus requiring no surgery. Electrodes are simply attached to the scalp or other body part to record neural or muscular signals that can be used to control a computer and other devices.