27, 28 June 2014: Newcastle University Open days

Every now and then the university has open days for prospective students. So to represent the Biocomputing option that students can follow in their third year of studying computer science I set up a few Spikerbox demonstrations. The two days turned out to be quite a lot of fun.

We showed visitors how they can listen and see the neural spikes that innervate muscles to move. We used those spikes to control a stepper motor and then, as the highlight, we used one student to control another student using Backyard Brains’ human-human interface.

It was quite difficult to get volunteers to try all these experiments on themselves but we did get a couple of brave souls who, once they tried the human-human interface, realised we weren’t about to electrocute them! Having an arm that moves on someone else’s demand is actually quite funny – and that is to both the subject and the bystanders!

Dale and Ben demonstrating the human-human interface.