Combining Brain-Computer Interfaces and Haptics: Detecting Mental Workload to Adapt Haptic Assistance

Laurent George 1 Maud Marchal 1 Loeïz Glondu 1 Anatole Lécuyer 1
1 VR4I - Virtual Reality for Improved Innovative Immersive Interaction
IRISA - Institut de Recherche en Informatique et Systèmes Aléatoires, ENS Cachan - École normale supérieure - Cachan, Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique
Abstract : In this paper we introduce the combined use of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) and Haptic interfaces. We propose to adapt haptic guides based on the mental activity measured by a BCI system. This novel approach is illustrated within a proof-of-concept system: haptic guides are toggled during a path-following task thanks to a mental workload index provided by a BCI. The aim of this system is to provide haptic assistance only when the user's brain activity reflects a high mental workload. A user study conducted with 8 participants shows that our proof-of-concept is operational and exploitable. Results show that activation of haptic guides occurs in the most difficult part of the path-following task. Moreover it allows to increase task performance by 53% by activating assistance only 59% of the time. Taken together, these results suggest that BCI could be used to determine when the user needs assistance during haptic interaction and to enable haptic guides accordingly.
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Submitted on : Friday, July 13, 2012 - 2:02:16 PM
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Laurent George, Maud Marchal, Loeïz Glondu, Anatole Lécuyer. Combining Brain-Computer Interfaces and Haptics: Detecting Mental Workload to Adapt Haptic Assistance. EuroHaptics, Jun 2012, Tampere, Finland. ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-31401-8_12⟩. ⟨hal-00709215v2⟩



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