An Ultracortex for Gal -- New Stretch Goal [$200K]
Dear OpenBCI Community,
With one week left in the campaign, we are asking for your support once again. This time, however, we want you to help us attempt to do something amazing for somebody amazing.
We want to design a custom-fit Ultracortex for Gal Sont
Gal is 39, has a wife and two daughters, and has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Gal’s story is incredibly inspiring, and we believe we can help him. We first met Gal last Spring at the Israeli Brain Tech Conference in Tel Aviv. When he saw the first prototype of the Ultracortex, his face lit up with undeniable excitement. He immediately recognized the implications of our technology.
As a programmer, when Gal was diagnosed with ALS he decided to take matters into his own hands by starting Click2Speak, a company dedicated to making on-screen keyboard tools more accessible to people with ALS and similar muscular degenerative diseases. Gal has been hacking his way back into the world for over 6 years now, developing his own tools for communication.
This is where OpenBCI comes in. Using advanced 3D-scanning techniques, we have already prototyped a custom-fit EEG headset to fit Conor’s head with sub-millimeter precision. Now we want to take it to the next level by developing a fully-functioning, custom-fit Ultracortex for Gal. The goal is to provide Gal with a new input mechanism for his Click2Speak software. Currently, Gal predominantly uses eye-tracking devices, but he believes having access to his EMG and EEG signals will give him significantly more data to use for communication. Because comfort is such a high priority in this case, we believe that the only way to do this is by giving Gal a truly custom-fit EEG experience.
Why do we believe we can do it? We have an amazing team. Aaron Trocola, our industrial designer, has done amazing work to get the Ultracortex to where it is and is eager to work on this project. Andrew and Teon, our PhD researchers, have been working with brain-computer interface technologies for years and would love to have the opportunity to get more involved with OpenBCI by contributing to this effort. And lastly, Gal is the perfect alpha test. We can't think of a better person to work with on this project than Gal. He is unwaveringly positive, and is extremely proactive about fighting for his own quality of living. His enthusiasm for connecting this new tool to Click2Speak is unparalleled.
We are also very excited to have the full support of Stargate’s David Hewlett. David has shamelessly promoted our project on social media (thanks, David!), and runs an amazing initiative called Upgrade Required, that is centered around turning sci-fi concepts into realities to help people in need. We are really happy to be working alongside David, and can’t wait to help with the Upgrade Required project.
We have carefully assessed the budget of the campaign, and in order to have the resources to embark on this effort, we’ll need to raise an additional $50K. For this reason, we are setting a stretch goal of $200K to initiate this process. We want to make sure we have the resources to do the project right.
We can’t think of a better way to apply the research and development we’ve done at OpenBCI, and we hope you will support us in this effort. We have seven days left of the Kickstarter campaign, and we’d love to mark the end of the campaign with the start of this amazing project.
Please help us help Gal!
Data From The Ganglion Board!
We have been putting our Ganglion prototype boards through the paces, and we want to share with you some of the results. Our intern, Tao Lin, who is working on his Masters in Computer Science at Columbia University, has donated his brain waves to the cause!
We measured Tao’s brain waves from the back of his head (O1 and O2, on the 10-20 system) using the Ganglion and the Ultracortex Mark III. Below are graphs from 1 minute resting with eyes open, and one minute resting with eyes closed. It turns out that Tao is a natural at producing alpha waves (~10Hz).
We also ran tests to measure Input Referred Noise. Here are graphs of a 10-minute test with the inputs tied to the Driven Right Leg (DRL).
For those of you interested in examining the data, here is a link to the repository where it is stored.
Over the next week we will continue to bring you more updates and details about the proposed project with Gal. Be sure to send us your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section of the campaign. From the very beginning, OpenBCI has been centered around seeing what a group of talented, dynamic people can create together; with your support, we want to put that plan into action—and help a very deserving person in the process.
All the best,
The OpenBCI Team