The mind controlled game Tug-o-matic took on an unusual persona today at the University of Nottingham’s annual Mayfest: A chance for local people and families to see the kinds of things that go on in the university and to experience research and science face to face. In this instance the tug-o-matic front end was applied to two different interface paradigms, the familar electroencephalography-based “brain-controlled” version and a new “breath-controlled” version based on the gas mask respirators now familiar to any regular reader of this blog.
Because of the modular nature of the vicarious architecture which underlies this work, changing to breath control was simply a matter of starting a different “collector” program to get data from a different source. This has served as an excellent example of the practical flexibility of the system.
The eponymous Suck-o-matic, as appears to be its inevitable moniker proved a roaring success if the volume of child spit currently clogging up the respirators is anything to go by. In this instance only the respirator canisters and not the masks themselves were used. This was to make the game more child friendly since the masks are not only intimidating but also largely too big to fit children.
In the event, I was actually unable to attend as I was elsewhere on campus running a related experience also as part of mayfest, and the event was staffed by my colleagues Michel Valster (pictured) and Alex Pinkney.