Towards a real-time interface between a biomimetic model of sensorimotor cortex and a robotic arm
Pattern Recognition Letters
Brain-machine interfaces can greatly improve the performance of prosthetics. Utilizing biomimetic neuronal modeling in brain machine interfaces (BMI) offers the possibility of providing naturalistic motor-control algorithms for control of a robotic limb. This will allow finer control of a robot, while also giving us new tools to better understand the brain's use of electrical signals. However, the biomimetic approach presents challenges in integrating technologies across multiple hardware and
... ftware platforms, so that the different components can communicate in real-time. We present the first steps in an ongoing effort to integrate a biomimetic spiking neuronal model of motor learning with a robotic arm. The biomimetic model (BMM) was used to drive a simple kinematic two-joint virtual arm in a motor task requiring trial-and-error convergence on a single target. We utilized the output of this model in real time to drive mirroring motion of a Barrett Technology WAM robotic arm through a user datagram protocol (UDP) interface. The robotic arm sent back information on its joint positions, which was then used by a visualization tool on the remote computer to display a realistic 3D virtual model of the moving robotic arm in real time. This work paves the way towards a full closed-loop biomimetic brain-effector system that can be incorporated in a neural decoder for prosthetic control, to be used as a platform for developing biomimetic learning algorithms for controlling real-time devices.