Ever wanted to visualize your brain activity in real-time? Move an object on a screen with your mind? This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to make an illumino: a recreational EEG hat with an Arduino, that turns your brainwaves into light. It will also guide you in how to use the hat to create beautiful visual/audio graphical interfaces on your computer screen (Processing).
I wanted my own simple toy EEG device to play with: one that flexibly allowed me to use the data, while being comfortable, stylish, and indiscernible to everyone else. The solution to this was to combine Neurosky’s ThinkGear™ ASIC Module and an Arduino. To make it artistically creative and interactive, I added RGB LEDs hidden inside a white pompom, allowing the wearer to visualize their brainwaves in real-time as an array of colorful light. All electronics are discretely hidden, so it looks and feels as though you’re just wearing a comfy beanie. Colors and brightness of the LEDs are manually selectable/adjustable with the small button switch. The Arduino software is accessible via a USB slot. The hat also works fine simply as an EEG device, if you just want to connect it to a computer without a light show.
Here’s a video of the testing of the hat (I hadn’t put the LEDs into a pompom or secured the battery onto the hat yet, hence the hanging wires). Turn on the subtitles, they explain what you are seeing!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.