Ena, the EEG eBike
The Ena project was lead by Prof. Josh Andres, In which I contributed as hardware and software engineer. Ena is an eBike that reads the cyclist’s brain activity through an EEG cap and uses this intimate knowledge of the cyclist to support them. Specifically, the eBike knows when the rider is in a state of peripheral awareness.
While the bike detects that the cyclist is peripherally aware, the electric motor provides the cyclist with pedal support. However, if the readings of peripheral awareness are interrupted – i.e. when a cyclists field of view narrows in response to danger – the electric motor is disengaged.
Through interviewed people who used the eBike, we observed that cyclists found Ena supported the happiness that comes from cycling while also keeping them safe. They said things like “Ena made me feel like a kid again!” because it provided them with a little bit of extra help when needed – just like a parent providing a push when going uphill, but simultaneously keeps the child safe when needed. Comparing it to their regular eBike, participants felt they were “integrated” with Ena, where the eBike and themselves were “fusing” together.
This work is a collaboration between the Exertion Games Lab at Monash University, IBM Research and the University of Southampton.
Andres, J., Schraefel, M.C., Semertzidis, N., Dwivedi, B., Kulwe, Y., von Kaenel, J., Mueller, F. Introducing Peripheral Awareness as a Neurological State for Human-Computer Integration. CHI 2020. Long paper. ACM. Video. Talk video.