Skip to main content

Seven Degree of Freedom Cortical Control of a Robotic Arm

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Brain-Computer Interface Research


We have recently established simultaneous 7 degree-of-freedom (DoF) brain-computer interface (BCI) control of a robotic arm. Using signals recorded from single units of monkeys with implanted chronic microelectrode arrays, we can now demonstrate brain control of a prosthetic arm that exhibits the following features: (1) simultaneous 7-degree of freedom (DoF) brain control over 3-D robot hand translation, 3-D rotation, and finger aperture, (2) integrated kinematic (movement) and dynamic (force) control of a brain-controlled prosthetic robot through a novel impedance-based movement controller, (3) simplified methods for constructing cortical extraction models based only on observation of the moving robot, and (4) a generalized method for training subjects to use complex prosthetic robot devices using a novel form of operator-machine shared control.

This work was completed in the laboratory of Andrew Schwartz at the University of Pittsburgh.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

USD 16.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 16.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others


  • J.M. Carmena, M.A. Lebedev, R.E. Crist, J.E. O’Doherty, D.M. Santucci, D.F. Dimitrov, P.G. Patil, C.S. Henriquez, M.A.L. Nicolelis, Learning to control a brain-machine interface for reaching and grasping by primates. PLoS Biol. 1(2), E42 (2003)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • S.M. Chase, A.B. Schwartz, R.E. Kass, Bias, optimal linear estimation, and the differences between open-loop simulation and closed-loop performance of spiking-based brain-computer interface algorithms. Neural Netw. : Off. J. Int. Neural Netw. Soc. 22(9), 1203–1213 (2009)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • A.P. Georgopoulos, J.F. Kalaska, R. Caminiti, J.T. Massey, On the relations between the direction of two-dimensional arm movements and cell discharge in primate motor cortex. J. Neurosci. : Off. J. Soc. Neurosci. 2(11), 1527–1537 (1982)

    Google Scholar 

  • S.Q. He, R.P. Dum, P.L. Strick, Topographic organization of corticospinal projections from the frontal lobe: motor areas on the lateral surface of the hemisphere. J. Neurosci.: The Off. J. Soc. Neurosci. 13(3), 952–980 (1993)

    Google Scholar 

  • N. Hogan, Impedance control: An approach to manipulation–part II: Implementation. J. Dyn. Syst. Meas. Control 107, 1–7 (1985)

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  • E. Salinas, L.F. Abbott, Vector reconstruction from firing rates. J. Comput. Neurosci. 1(1—-2), 89–107 (1994)

    Article  MATH  Google Scholar 

  • M.D. Serruya, N.G. Hatsopoulos, L. Liam Paninski, M.R. Fellows, J.P. Donoghue, Instant neural control of a movement signal. Nature 416(6877), 141–142 (2002)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • D.M. Taylor, S.I.H. Tillery, A.B. Schwartz, Direct cortical control of 3D neuroprosthetic devices. Science 296(5574), 1829–1832 (2002)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • D.M. Taylor, S.I.H. Tillery, A.B. Schwartz, Information conveyed through brain-control: Cursor versus robot. IEEE Trans. Neural Syst. Rehabil. Eng.: Publ. IEEE Eng. Med. Biol. Soc. 11(2), 195–199 (2003)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • E. Todorov, Direct cortical control of muscle activation in voluntary arm movements: a model. Nat. Neurosci. 3(4), 391–398 (2000)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • M. Velliste, S. Perel, M.C. Spalding, A.S. Whitford, A.B. Schwartz, Cortical control of a prosthetic arm for self-feeding. Nature 453(7198), 1098–1101 (2008)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • M. Wyndaele, J.-J. Wyndaele, Incidence, prevalence and epidemiology of spinal cord injury: What learns a worldwide literature survey? Spinal Cord : Off. J. Int. Med. Soc. Paraplegia 44(9), 523–529 (2006)

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Samuel T. Clanton .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2013 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Clanton, S.T. et al. (2013). Seven Degree of Freedom Cortical Control of a Robotic Arm. In: Guger, C., Allison, B., Edlinger, G. (eds) Brain-Computer Interface Research. SpringerBriefs in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-36082-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-36083-1

  • eBook Packages: EngineeringEngineering (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics