IBV is working in improving the communication abilities of people suffering from cerebral palsy

IBV is working in improving the communication abilities of people suffering from cerebral palsy

Instituto de Biomecánica held last June, 20th in Brussels a interinm review meeting of ABC project. A European project that aims to develop a new Brain Neural Computer interface to foster the cognitive abilities of people affected with Cerebral Palsy since childhood, improving the communication with their environment and the expression of emotions.

Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy affects to 1.5 of every 1000 persons in Spain, being the first cause of disability between children.

The difficulty in maintaining relationships with the environment, prevents the cognitive and emotional development  of this people. A system enabling these aspects would have a high impact in their quality of life and will foster their independent living, increasing their communication, learning and social relationship capabilities.

In this framework, the ABC system develops brain neural interfaces jointly to people affected and they care givers. This interfaces will be composed by 4 independent and interoperable modules: “BNCI processing module”, “Affective Module”, “Health monitoring module” and “Augmented communication tool” based on the last technologies used to process neural signals, computer assisted augmented communication, and biosignals monitoring

The results of the project will be available at the end of 2014. They will be a functional prototype of ABC system validated and fully operable in daily life environments. Both SME working in this project will ease the transition of the results of the research to their commercial stage.

The modular structure and the independence of their components will increase their commercial potential beyond people affected with dyskinetic cerebral palsy. Different combinations of modules could be integrated in other assistive products debeloped for people with multiple sclerosis or quadriplejia. Moreover, ABC modules (combined or isolated) have integration potential in the applications value chain that can take advantage of the augmented communication as games, online learning, health in the workplace, or driving support among others.

With 3 years length, ABC project is co-funded by European Union through 7th framework program, specifically in the call 7 of FP7-ICT-2011 program.

The consortium coordinated by IBV, is composed by other research centres (Fraunhoffer institute for applied ICT, Bioengineering groups of CSIC, Brain Computer Interfaces laboratory from Graz Technology University, Tuebingen, Medical Fisiology and Behaviour Neurobiology from Medicine University of Tuebingen) we consider the affected people from professional view to end user view including in the project the Santa Luzia foundation and AVAPACE association. The commercial point of view is included with two SME, PLUX, and Technaid.