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In Frontiers in robotics and AI

Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have long been seen as control interfaces that translate changes in brain activity, produced either by means of a volitional modulation or in response to an external stimulation. However, recent trends in the BCI and neurofeedback research highlight passive monitoring of a user's brain activity in order to estimate cognitive load, attention level, perceived errors and emotions. Extraction of such higher order information from brain signals is seen as a gateway for facilitation of interaction between humans and intelligent systems. Particularly in the field of robotics, passive BCIs provide a promising channel for prediction of user's cognitive and affective state for development of a user-adaptive interaction. In this paper, we first illustrate the state of the art in passive BCI technology and then provide examples of BCI employment in human-robot interaction (HRI). We finally discuss the prospects and challenges in integration of passive BCIs in socially demanding HRI settings. This work intends to inform HRI community of the opportunities offered by passive BCI systems for enhancement of human-robot interaction while recognizing potential pitfalls.

Alimardani Maryam, Hiraki Kazuo


EEG, brain-computer interface (BCI), cognitive workload estimation, emotion recognition, error detection, human-robot interaction (HRI), passive BCIs, social robots