IEEE Baltimore Section


Brain to Computer Interface Competition




Brain To Computer Interface Competition

April 2020

This event has been cancelled
Details below are provided for historical reference only





University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Campus

The IEEE Baltimore Section, in conjunction with IEEE Region 2’s Student Activity Conference, will be holding B2CI 2020 at the UMBC campus in April 2020.  Engineering, Computer Science, Game Developers, and any other interested students are invited to build teams to compete in the events.  Compete against other colleges & universities!  There is also a poster session available for researchers working on Brain-to-Computer Interfaces to present their findings.

Brain-Interfaces are at the leading edge of technology and expose researchers to biomedical engineering, digital signal processing, embedded systems, and interfacing with the human nervous system.  This is an exciting and developing area of technology.  The IEEE Baltimore Section is adding some fun to the learning and exploration as we encourage students at 2-year and 4-year colleges/universities to build their own brain interface devices for controlling flying drones or computer games.


Registration Instructions:


All student team participants must register first as an IEEE student member and then for the IEEE Region 2 Student Activity Conference (SAC2020).  More details will be provided when the conference link is published.  Estimated attendance costs are:
– IEEE new student member: $32
– Register for SAC2020: $60 (early registration)

When registering for SAC2020 you will be able to register for activities during the conference with two of those activities being the B2CI Drone Challenge and B2CI Gaming Challenge.

Registration is now open and the “early registration” rebate is available through February 10.  After that the cost is $70.  Eligibility requirements are also mentioned.


Competition Rules:


Competition rules for the B2CI Drone Challenge (Will be posted shortly)
Competition rules for the B2CI Computer Game Challenge (Will be posted shortly)


Reference Designs and Discussion:


There are many Brain-Computer interface devices available and the variety of capabilities and software choices can be overwhelming.  Keep checking back here for more suggestions on basic setups, hardware, and software.

So, what is the basic set up for interfacing a brain-to-computer headset with a device such as a drone, robot, or game?  Essentially, you need four components: headset, sensor with micro-processing capabilities, controller, and the device being controlled.

  • Headset: Detects brainwaves at different positions on the scalp in the form of low frequency voltages.
  • Sensor: Samples the detected voltages, and using analog-to-digital converters (ADC), converts the signals into discrete data values.  The data can then be manipulated through Digital Signal Processing (DSP) algorithms and stored for later use.
  • Controller: Accepts the data and results of DSP and produces control signals capable of controlling a device.
  • Device:  Any electro-mechanical or computer device that accepts control signals and creates an action.

We encourage experimenting, tinkering, and engineering within all four components, but the easiest place to start is with the DSP algorithms and control signals.  Since detecting brainwaves requires extraordinarily sensitive equipment it is best to use a commercial headset that has been designed to capture the brainwaves and digitize them.  The student is them free to use all the technologies at their disposal (e.g. DSP, machine learning, classification, FPGAs, control theory etc…) to understand what the brain is doing and then create meaningful control signals.  See the rules for each event for more information on developing and competing with your brain-to-computer interface.