Abstract: Multi-Jointed Robots Controlled by Specific Biosignals

Multi-Jointed Robots Controlled by Specific Biosignals

Janelle Laros

Hawaii Preparatory Academy

Class of 2017


I intend to build a multi-jointed robot that is controlled by Electroencephalography, Electrocardiography, and Electromyography. I want to build this robot so I can further my knowledge of biomechanics and biosignals.


In the Spring of 2015, I was apart of a robotics class and for my final project, I tried to build a robot that could travel with legs instead of wheels. I decided to continue the project into the fall of my junior year. Since then, I have studied other methods of control to apply to my project. These methods include: Electromyography (EMG), which is a diagnostic procedure to assess the health of muscles and the nerve cells that control them. (2) Electroencephalography (EEG), is a test that detects electrical activity in your brain. (1) I will also be using Electrocardiography (ECG), which is used to monitor your heart. (3) The robot’s speed will correspond with the increasing speed of my heart rate and the data will be collected by the Electrocardiogram. The robot’s joint movement and walking motion will be controlled by my nerve and muscle movement and the data will be collected by the Electromyogram. Finally, the direction of the robot will be collected by the Electroencephalogram by tracking the pulse of my brain wave activity when I move my eyes in a certain direction.


The purpose of my project educate myself and others about ECG, EMG, EEG, and Biomechanics. By working on this project, I will set up a foundation in my robotic career that can help me have a solid understanding for the projects that I may perform in the future.

What I will build:

I will build a robot whose joint movement will be controlled by my joint movement with the EMG Spikerbox, speed is controlled by my heart rate with the Arduino Heartbeat sensor, and the direction of the robot will be controlled by my brain activity. I will begin by building four legs with a knee joint. The prototype will be built with legos and controlled by my biosignals through EMG, ECG, EEG technology.

How I will build it:

I will start out by testing the different biosignals in isolation. Beginning with the Heart Rate sensors, I will test the data output of the Arduino sensor and how I can apply that to the leg’s motor speed. I will move onto testing the EMG Spikerbox and connecting it to a multi-jointed leg prototype. This will lead into the prototype of my chassis. After an initial design is built, I will continue to work on the programming and the fluid walking movement alongside the EMG connection. Additionally, I will be working with the Brainwave activity and testing the more likely methods of controlling the robot's direction. I will begin with testing the brain’s activity with eye movement. After collecting this data, I will apply these methods of control to my robot.


  • Legos

  • Arduino

  • Servos

  • Motors

  • EMG Spikerbox

  • Heart Rate sensors

  • Brainwave sensors


The fields of Electroencephalography, Electrocardiography, Electromyography, and Biomechanics are all fields of high importance for the future of the scientific community and the human race. Even small projects that dive into these topics continue to expand our knowledge for bettering the life of people in need. Every small step can make a large impact towards the research for robotic prosthetic limbs and other fields in biomechanics. By studying these fields, I can set a base for future ideas and projects that I want to pursue.


The main importance of this project is that my research will expand beyond my years at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. The legacy of my project will be the research and the data itself. The future of the project will be for the students with an ambitious passion for robotics and a desire to learn about how to help others. I hope that the final draft of my project inspires people to pursue the field of robotics. I also hope that this project inspires my generation to realize the endless opportunities that we are presented with to leave this world better than when we entered it.

  1. "EEG (electroencephalogram)." EEG. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

  2. "Electromyography (EMG)." - Mayo Clinic. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.

  3. "Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)." - Mayo Clinic. Web. 31 Aug. 2015.