Recent advances in the Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) and in the robotic fields allowed researchers to design a new generation of brain-actuated neuroprostheses to control a variety of assistive devices-ranging from powered wheelchairs to telepresence robots and robotic arms. However, the current interaction between BMI and robotic applications is still at its infancy. One of the reasons for the limited integration between these two technologies might be identified in the lack of a common research framework. In this scenario, ROS-Neuro may represent a solution to this challenge by providing a common middleware between BMI and robotics.
In this work, we propose two packages for the ROS-Neuro middleware to acquire neural signals from different commercial acquisition devices and to store them into common data formats. We describe the usage and the main functionalities of both packages such as the provided nodes, the published and subscribed topics and the available services. Furthermore, the packages are available online together with source codes, tutorials and documentations. We evaluated the performances of the two packages to ensure the absence of delays or missing data with three commercial acquisition systems and in different operating configurations. Results demonstrated the correct behavior of the provided packages.
The acquisition and recorder packages represent the first releases in the ROS-Neuro ecosystem and they aim at boosting both the shared development and the research activity in the multidisciplinary field of brain-actuated robots.