Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Robotics Institute


Andrew Schwartz

Second Advisor

Nancy Pollard

Third Advisor

George Stetton

Fourth Advisor

Neville Hogan


This thesis describes a brain-computer interface (BCI) system that was developed to allow direct cortical control of 7 active degrees of freedom in a robotic arm. Two monkeys with chronic microelectrode implants in their motor cortices were able to use the arm to complete an oriented grasping task under brain control. This BCI system was created as a clinical prototype to exhibit (1) simultaneous decoding of cortical signals for control of the 3-D translation, 3-D rotation, and 1-D finger aperture of a robotic arm and hand, (2) methods for constructing cortical signal decoding models based on only observation of a moving robot, (3) a generalized method for training subjects to use complex BCI prosthetic robots using a novel form of operator-machine shared control, and (4) integrated kinematic and force control of a brain-controlled prosthetic robot through a novel impedance-based robot controller. This dissertation describes each of these features individually, how their integration enriched BCI control, and results from the monkeys operating the resulting system.



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Robotics Commons