Neuromorphic Reaching and Grasping in an iRobot Create

By Max Versace | March 2, 2014

The primary objective of this project is to develop an adaptive robot that interacts with a human user, potentially paralyzed, via an EEG-based brain-machine interface (BMI). Using a VIrtual Environment (VE) is a standard procedure in the Neuromorphics Lab, which allows to experiment ad libitum in software to, basically, get the model right, before dealing with physical limitation of robots. A description of prior posts on the topic can be found here. This video shows how the user can control a virtual replica of the iRobot Create robot to look for, reach, and grasp an object of interest. 

The robotic agent is an iRobot Create enhanced with a rotatable camera and robotic arm. Using EEG signals, subjects will be tasked with navigating the robot to a desired location in a room, orienting the camera to fixate upon a target object, and picking up the attended object with the robotic arm.

This complex task is broken into two major components: 1) EEG-based robotic navigation / object selection and 2) biologically inspired, autonomous and goal-directed robotic movement and arm control.
The video below shows the EEG interface. Videos courtesy of Byron Galbraith (




The video below shows the behavior of the iRobot Create equipped with a robotic arm as it looks for, reaches, and grasps the requested object.



The Neuromorphics Lab is highly collaborative with connections across both academia and industry.