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Welcome to the official web-site of the 2011 International UKIERI Workshop on Fusion of Brain-Computer Interface and Assistive Robotics. The workshop will be held on 7-8 July 2011 at Intelligent Systems Research Centre, School of Computing and Intelligent Systems, University of Ulster, Magee Campus, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, UK.

Over the last decade massive progress has been made in both brain-computer interface (BCI) and assistive robotics (AR) fields. A BCI primarily utilizes brainwaves modulations generated through voluntary cognitive tasks effected cortical activations. These modulations can be used to establish a direct communication link between human brain and computing devices and may also be effective in plastic reorganisation of neuronal structure after lesion formation due to neurological problems such as stroke.  Several promising prototype BCI applications have been reported primarily for providing independence to people with extreme motor disability and helping in the recovery of paralysed limbs of individuals suffering from motor impairments due to stroke. However due to practical limitations, there is still very little take-up of BCI systems for real-world use.

In the AR field as well, highly promising prototype systems have been demonstrated for helping disabled individuals in mobility, performing activities of daily living (ADL), and undertaking rehabilitation exercises for the recovery of paralysed limbs. These systems include a range of devices involving smart wheelchair, tele-robotics, intelligent manipulators, and prosthetic and orthotic devices. AR systems also have yet to find wide-spread use in real-world. One of the main reasons for the limited take-up of AR systems is restrictive accessibility and passive interactions facilitated through the use of conventional human-computer interfaces.

A synergetic fusion of BCI and AR systems thus holds a much greater promise in ensuring active interactions and universal accessibility by establishing a natural communication link with AR systems through a user-centred design, leading to greater independence in ADL as well as enhanced recovery of the paralysed limbs.  The UKIERI workshop will bring together world-leading experts in both BCI and AR fields at one platform to discuss cutting edge developments and brainstorm ideas to provide new directions for an effective fusion of BCI and AR systems.

This workshop is organised under the UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) project Innovations in Intelligent Assistive Robotics. In this project the Intelligent Systems Research Centre (ISRC) researchers at the University of Ulster (UU) have teamed up with scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur to investigate intelligent systems associated with developing brain-actuated assistive robotic systems for people with severe movement disabilities. This UU/IIT initiative is part of the 2007 Standard Research Awards programme under UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) funded by the governments of the UK and India, for collaborative projects between higher educational institutions in the two countries.

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