About the Post

Author Information

Did you know that Bits &Pieces receives just as many blog post shares as all 39 other semiconductor companies combined? Led by our Head of Social Media & Content, the Atmel team shines the spotlight on startups, Makers, industry news and other cool things. Have something you’d like shared? Let us know!

OpenBCI is a brain-computer interface for Makers

OpenBCI – designed by Joel Murphy & Conor Russomanno – is a low-cost programmable open-source EEG platform that gives Makers easy access to their brainwaves.

“Our vision is to realize the potential of the open-source movement to accelerate innovation in brain science through collaborative hardware and software development,” the duo wrote in a recent Kickstarter post.

“Behind the many lines of code and circuit diagrams, OpenBCI has a growing community of scientists, engineers, designers, makers, and a whole bunch of other people who are interested in furthering our understanding of the brain.”

Brain-computer interfacing (BCI) is a relatively new field of science that offers a wide range of potential applications. For example, medical grade BCIs are often used to help individuals with damaged cognitive or sensory-motor functions. In addition, more affordable BCIs are being designed to address various neurotherapy applications.

“Both neurofeedback and biofeedback are starting to be used more frequently by artists, musicians, dancers, and other creative individuals who want to find new ways of connecting people with the world around them, making more immersive experiences,” the two explained. “There’s great potential for research in psychology and behavior studies with portable EEG devices that can record brain activity in real-world environments.”

In addition to an ADS1299 IC, the OpenBCI is equipped with Atmel’s ATmega328 (+ Arduino’s latest bootloader). Murphy and Russomanno have thoughtfully broken out all the Arduino pins, allowing Makers to blink lights or drive motors. In addition, Version 3 of the OpenBCI board uses bluetooth low energy (BTLE) for data transmission and programming of the ATMega controller.

On the software side, OpenBCI includes code examples written in Arduino, Processing, Python and openFramworks.

“We have no intention of reinventing the wheel, so we are actively working to make the hardware data accessible to all commonly used open-source EEG signal processing applications, such as BrainBay, OpenVibe and more,” Murphy and Russomanno added. “Because you have direct access to the data on the hardware side, making it portable to any existing EEG software is as easy as structuring the way the data is formatted and related.”

Interested in learning more about OpenBCI? You can check out the project’s official Kickstarter page here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Wearable computing @ CES 2014 | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World - December 20, 2013

    […] OpenBCI – A brain-computer interface for Makers. Powered by Atmel. […]


  2. Wearable tech redefines traditional retail | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World - December 30, 2013

    […] OpenBCI – A brain-computer interface for Makers. Powered by Atmel. […]


  3. Arduino-powered wheelchair hopes to offer greater mobility | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World - September 2, 2014

    […] to recent mind-controlled projects we’ve recently covered on Bits & Pieces, the e-Wheelchair enables chair movement to be controlled solely by a user’s […]


  4. Thinking about the future with brain computer interfaces | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World - September 15, 2014

    […] As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, brain-computer interfaces have made great progress as of late, thanks in part to companies like OpenBCI, whose co-founder recently shared his thoughts on the surging BCI movement with MAKE Magazine. […]


  5. Rewind: A look at this year’s Atmel powered successfully crowdfunded projects | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World - December 17, 2014

    […] OpenBCI […]


  6. Students develop a brain-controlled prosthethic hand | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World - February 2, 2015

    […] an effort to have the prosthetic be as anthropomorphic as possible, an OpenBCI open-source device was employed to read a user’s brain and connect with a computer to process the […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,039 other followers

%d bloggers like this: