Low Cost Electroencephalogram (EEG)

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Example EEG Device
Sponsors Dr. Gautam Kumar
Team Name Super Big Brain (SBB) EEG
Duration Fall 2018 - Spring 2019
Faculty Adviser Dr. Feng Li
Client Dr. Gautam Kumar
Team Members
  • Allison Ellingson
  • Yiting Gao
  • Ostin Arters
  • Corey Knapp

Problem Definition[edit]

In order to better educate high school students about brain function, we are developing an educational, low cost EEG that can be made in classrooms by students. During this year, we are going to determine the least expensive and most easily reproducible way to create and EEG for under $100.


The biggest barrier to introducing high school students to basic neuroscience is the staggering cost of an EEG and the corresponding software. Instead of spending $800 on an EEG device like Emotive, and hundreds of dollars per month on the related software, this new EEG design will deliver open source software and instructions for an easily reproducible hardware design to open neuroscience and basic engineering to all high school students.


Project Specifications
Design Area Specification
  • The total hardware cost must be under $100
  • The hardware must be able to be built by high school students
  • There must be 16 channels
User Interface (UI)
  • The UI must be easy to use for students
  • The UI should display the frequencies measured
  • Since there should be no cost associated with the UI, we should use Python

Design Considerations[edit]

Design Considerations
Design Area Consideration
PCB Hardware
  • The PCB design must allow high school students to easily solder through-hole components.
  • The PCB layout must be small to reduce cost of manufacturing.
  • The microcontroller must have 16 analog inputs to accommodate 16 EEG channels.
  • The on-board ADC must have a resolution that samples the EEG signals sufficiently.
  • In order to send the EEG signal to the computer as fast as possible, the microcontroller needs to have an RS232 to USB module.
User Interface
  • The UI needs to be able to communicate to the microcontroller using serial communication
  • Python includes the Pyserial package that makes serial communication very easy

Project Learning[edit]

We have tested several different types of electrodes to use for the EEG. We bought a sample pack of medical grade gold cup electrodes in order to get a base line signal to compare our electrodes to. The main candidates that we have tested are disposable silver cup electrodes, 3D printed electrodes, and DIY electrodes using metal plates. Several of these candidates will have a good chance of being in the final design. Here is an example of the unfiltered signal that we measured from our disposable electrode:

SBB unfiltered.png

Team Members[edit]


Name: Corey Knapp
Major: Electrical Engineering
Hometown: Clarkston, WA
Responsibility: UI Design, Wikimaster
Email: knap4020@vandals.uidaho.edu


Name: Allison Ellingson
Major: Electrical Engineering
Hometown: Boise, ID
Responsibility: Electrode Design, Scribe, Portfolio Master
Email: elli7374@vandals.uidaho.edu

SBB Gao.jpg

Name: Yiting Gao
Major: Electrical Engineering
Hometown: Suzhou, China
Responsibility: Research, Finance
Email: gao4247@vandals.uidaho.edu

SBB Ostin.jpeg

Name: Ostin Arters
Major: Biological Engineering
Hometown: Sun Valley, ID
Responsibility: Electrode Design, Filter Design, Research
Email: arte8658@vandals.uidaho.edu

Additional Documentation[edit]

Project Schedule


Meeting Minutes

9/6 Meeting Minutes
9/13 Meeting Minutes
9/20 Meeting Minutes
9/25 Meeting Minutes
10/2 Meeting Minutes
10/16 Meeting Minutes
10/23 Meeting Minutes
10/30 Meeting Minutes

Client Interview

Client Interview