Electromechanical Human Machine Interaction

New interactive computing applications are continually being developed in a bid to support people’s changing work and recreational activities. As research focuses on one particular class of interactive systems, high level models of interaction are formulated and requirements emerge that reflect shared features or common functionality among those systems. Within this seminar a new class of interactive system is identified, based on shared requirements for detection, processing and presentation of human physiological information. We have named these systems electro physiologically interactive computer systems (EPICS) and describe in this report both the physiological and technological details behind their operation. The technology behind this system is really a combination of physiological sensing techniques with interactive computer applications. A review is presented of existing research and development into this exciting new area of human-computer interaction. It is envisaged that the work presented in this seminar will serve as a jumping off point for others interested in exploring the potential of incorporating physiological information into the human-machine relationship. In the modern era research is going on to develop techniques to improve human computer interaction. The interactive system research is beginning to breach the barrier between human and machine. Direct brain computer communication is an emerging reality. EPIC is a technology being developed to reach this goal. Medical engineers developed technologies to gain access to the subtle echoes of human body’s internal workings. Modern physiological data detection relies on direct application of sensors to the body surface. Different sensors collect various types of data such as heart and respiration rate, peripheral body temperature, skin conductance, muscle contraction and electrical brain activity. All these parameters are highly dependent on the state and condition of the human mind. EPICS combine physiological sensing techniques with interactive computer applications. Thus the physiological parameters are monitored the data stream obtained is processed which intern is linked with the computer system which responds to the need. Development of EPICS will enable the creation of truly personnel computers –systems that read and understand their users’ signatory physiology. EPICS will transform our interaction with computers as well as help us know our physiological states. So this is what an EPIC is about. It’s almost like a mind reader. Mechanical control, where a user physically manipulates an electromechanical device to initiate a computer operation, requires the periodic dedication of one or both hands. Unfortunately, many people work in environments where their hands are already fully occupied with other physical tasks. Examples include surgeons, fitters and maintenance engineers, aircraft flight crew and drivers of heavy goods, passenger and private vehicles. In all of these situations, access to information or non-essential operation of electronic devices would perhaps be better served by alternative, hands-free access control. A further limitation of existing mechanical models of interaction is that they exclude access to those individuals for whom normal physical control is either difficult or impossible. The needs of physically disabled users are rarely considered during the design of new computer systems and yet these individuals constitute the user group most likely to reap the benefits of computer-based interactive technologies. Add to this group an ageing populace, with accompanying restrictions on physical abilities, and it is clear that supplemental methods of human-machine interaction to those currently available are needed.