BCI Initiative event screen

Massachusettes Institute of Technology: first BCI hackathon

Cambridge, MA, USA – McGovern Institute, 24-25 February 2024: Over 100 participants took part to the first MIT BCI hackathon, competing in teams to control Duckiebots using brain computer interfaces.

Controlling Duckiebots using brain computer interfaces

Over 100 participants gathered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the first BCI hackathon organized by Dr. Federico Claudi. The participants tried to control a Duckiebot using only brain computer interfaces, and competed in a series of tasks. 

BCI is the field of research that studies how to measure, amplify, filter and utilize electrical signals from the brain to interact with external devices.

MIT BCI Hackathon man wearing headset
MIT hackathon woman wearing headset

What made this hackathon distinctive was the hands-on challenge, where participants were tasked with controlling a physical robot. This not only tested participants’ technical skills but also showcased their ability to tackle real-world problems through innovative BCI applications.

The task teams competed on was having Duckiebots (DB21-J4) navigate a road loop as fast as possible while avoiding Duckies. Here is an example:

The hardware used in this competition was an X.on EEG headset, and Duckiebots for control. Also, the winning team’s solution will be soon made available as a reproducible  Learning Experience with Duckietown – stay tuned!

The Duckiebot is a DIY, Raspberry Pi-based robot powered by Nvidia and designed for introducing learners to autonomous technologies.

If you would like to contribute in developing accessible BCI LXs with Duckietown, and support the dissemination of BCI research, e.g. reach out to us at [email protected].

Learn more about Duckietown

The Duckietown platform enables state-of-the-art robotics and AI learning experiences.

It is designed to help teach, learn, and do research: from exploring the fundamentals of computer science and automation to pushing the boundaries of human knowledge.