ABC project has developed new ways of communication for children with diskinetic cerebral palsy. The core outcome of the project is a communicator integrating health and emotion capabilities with an open interface which can be controlled bydifferent in approaches. Among the different input devices tested within the framework of the project, the following ones deserves to be mention: BCI paradigms, EMG signal and head posture measured with IMUs. The communicator allows emotion management through two different ways: it provides biofeedback of the detected emotional state to the user, and allows the configuration of the communicator according to the detected emotional state, such as showing some specific context board when some emotional state is detected (mostly high arousal negative emotions). The communicator uses the same approach to manage health status. Both approaches search to increase user’s awareness about his own health and emotional state and to make easier the communication of these states to third parties, in order to get some help or support. The communicator itself is a piece of free (in the sense of no cost) software for android tablets published at google play store.
To achieve all these functions within the framework of the project a number of developments have been reached. Firstly, a set of use participation methodologies have been adapted for the target population. , New algorithms of artifact rejection for the EEG channels have been developed. These are required because one of the key characterisitc of children with diskinetic cerebal palsy are involuntary movements. The new algorithm named FORCe, and a new library for EEG processing named SCoT are publicly available.
Emotion detection have been made possible in an approach using Hidden Markov Models with a single sensor of Electro Dermal Activty, and have been adapted and validated with CP children. Besides, an important effort has been devoted to emotion detection through brain activity. The health module use temperature, EKG, respiratory sensors and activity monitoring to achieve an online analysis of health status of the users.
A number of results of the project have already produced exploitable results, mainly through the two companies incorporated in the project. In particular a new range of IMUs for movement analysis (TechIMU: http://www.technaid.com/en/products/techimU) and a new device to improve accesibility using physicological signals (AccesPLUX http://www.access.plux.info/). Moreover a new company has been created to exploit the results on the use of IMUs as an alternative input device for children with cerebral palsy (http://weriumsolutions.com).