Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 527–537 | Cite as

Brain–computer interfaces for space applications

  • Cristina de NegueruelaEmail author
  • Michael Broschart
  • Carlo Menon
  • José del R. Millán
Original Article


Recent experiments have shown the possibility to use the brain electrical activity to directly control the movement of robots. Such a kind of brain–computer interface is a natural way to augment human capabilities by providing a new interaction link with the outside world and is particularly relevant as an aid for paralysed humans, although it also opens up new possibilities in human–robot interaction for able-bodied people. One of these new fields of application is the use of brain–computer interfaces in the space environment, where astronauts are subject to extreme conditions and could greatly benefit from direct mental teleoperation of external semi-automatic manipulators—for instance, mental commands could be sent without any output/latency delays, as it is the case for manual control in microgravity conditions. Previous studies show that there is a considerable potential for this technology onboard spacecraft.


BCI Space operations Astronauts 



Artificial intelligence


Artificial neural networks


Brain–computer interface


Central nervous system




Extra-vehicular activity


functional magnetic resonance imaging


Galactic cosmic rays


Head-down tilt


Institute dalle-molle d’Intelligence artificielle perceptuelle


Intra-vehicular activity


Low-earth orbit




Manned manoeuvring unit


Positron emission tomography


Simplified aid for EVA rescue


Solar cosmic radiation


Solar particles events


Solar particle radiation




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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina de Negueruela
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Michael Broschart
    • 2
    • 4
  • Carlo Menon
    • 3
    • 4
  • José del R. Millán
    • 5
  1. 1.Advanced Space Systems and TechnologiesGMVMadridSpain
  2. 2.Germanischer Lloyd Industrial Services GmbHHamburgGermany
  3. 3.School of Engineering ScienceSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  4. 4.Advanced Concepts Team, European Space AgencyNoordwijkThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Defitech Chair in Non-Invasive Brain-Machine Interface Center for NeuroprostheticsEcole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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