Meal Assistance Robot with Camera-Based Automatic Mouth Position Tracking and Mouth Open Detection

A group of final yearstudents initiated the project on an Assistive Robot as the final year research project under supervision of Dr. S.W.H.M.T.D Lalitharathne and the project is currently continued at the Bionics Laboratory by a postgraduate student,Mr. K.D.C.J. Perera. This is one of the most recognized projects and has become famous not only in Sri Lanka but also among the research community in the world.

A paper titled “EEG-Controlled Meal Assistance Robot with Camera-Based Automatic Mouth Position Tracking and Mouth Open Detection” was presented at the 2017 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (IEEE ICRA 2017) held from 29th May- 2nd June 2017 in Singapore, by Chamika Janith Perera. Dr. Damith and Dr. Gopura also participated in the conference.

People loose upper limbs due to numerous reasons and are suffering from inability to feed themselves. Thus, assistive robots have been under development for decades and a common application is feeding which requires precise sensing and accurate actuation to achieve the goal.  The system is capable of assisting individuals to self-feed and the system uses Electroencephalography (EEG) signals received by brain neurons to identify pick point and drop point and actuate the robot arm accordingly. The system is equipped with a camera based mouth position identifying system to feed when mouth is opened. At present, the Meal Assistance Robot identifies intentions of the individual using brain waves and accurately feed into mouth.

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