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Thu, June 2

Speaker: Prof. Tim Bretl (UIUC)

Title: Mechanics and Control of Brain-Machine Interface Systems

Abstract:  In this talk I will describe a brain-machine interface that enables a  human pilot to fly an unmanned aircraft with input only from an  electroencephalograph (EEG), which is used in this case to distinguish  between left- and right-hand motor imagery in the brain. We view this process as communication and view the problem of interface design as the problem of constructing an optimal communication protocol that can be  derived using new results from feedback information theory.
Proof-of-concept hardware experiments show that our approach works in  practice with a real aircraft.

Bio:  Timothy Bretl received his B.S. in Engineering and B.A. in Mathematics  from Swarthmore College in 1999, and his M.S. in 2000 and Ph.D. in 2005  both in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University.  Subsequently, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Computer  Science, also at Stanford University. Since 2006, he has been with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering and a Research Assistant Professor in the Coordinated Science Laboratory. His current interests are at the intersection of robotics and neuroscience.

Please contact Robert Gregg ( to set up an individual meeting.

Hosts: Robert Gregg and Eric Perreault