This downloadable zip file contains the Arduino code we wrote to convert serial data into servo movement and LED indicator lights.

MentalBlockCode

We started by trying to get serial data directly out of the NeuroSky chip in the Force Trainer Toy. As it is the same chip used in diy EEG devices, we figured upon successful hacking we could have a more accessible, cheaper EEG device.

We managed to get NeuroSky to send serial information to Arduino, through its tx pin to one of Arduino's digital pins through soft serial. NeuroSky offers documentation of it's native code through their developer's connection. Since Matel did not change their own code significantly from the original NeuroSky, we were able to parse the incoming data and make use of it.

For Mental Block, we then decided to have "attention" (a term used by NeuroSky to describe Alpha wave information) mapped to illumination of the user's face. The more they are in the moment, learning, paying attention to things, the brighter their face becomes.

We mapped the rotation of a screen of polarized plastic to the "attention" of the user. "Attention" is used by NeuroSky to describe Beta wave information, which normally occurs in humans while active, busy, or anxious. If users wearing the Mental Block headsets are paying attention to each other with equal fervency, then the polarized filters on each of their headsets will rotate into place and their faces will be revealed to each other.

There are indicator lights on the side of the headsets to tell if we are receiving a signal, and how strong it is, and a power switch.

Force Trainer Head Mount & ArduinoForce Trainer Head Mount & Arduino sending serial data to arduino