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Measure Real-Time Blood and Oxygen Levels in the Brain with HEGduino

AlasKit has released a new biofeedback kit that measures blood/oxygen levels in the brain and does so in real-time. Known as HEGduino, the device provides an insightful look into brain activity using hemoencephalography — a non-invasive biofeedback method similar to EEG (electroencephalogram).

The HEGduino is an ESP32-based hemoencephalography device similar to an EEG that detects changes in the brain’s energy consumption via blood/oxygen levels. (📷: AlasKit)

“HEGduino enables you to see in real-time how your brain blood-oxygen levels respond to your thoughts and actions, resulting in a simple and elegant biofeedback system. You can easily affect and eventually control regional blood flow in your head by focusing, breathing, and relaxing, and watching the response on your screen.”

On the hardware side, the HEGduino offers an ESP32-based MCU in either Adafruit Huzzah 32 Feather or WeMos Lolin32 V1.0.0 chip depending on your preference. It also packs an ADS1115 16-bit 860 SPS ADC, along with I/O breakouts with 32 inputs/outputs, 26 digital pins (3.3 V) — all PWM capable (two occupied by LEDs), 18 analog pins, three UART, and three SPI. For the sensor board, AlasKit outfitted a flexible circuit board with an OPT101 monolithic photodiode, a 650nm/50mA red LED, and an 850nm/50mA IR LED, which are connected to the HEGduino via CAT3 connectors.

The HEGduino is controlled using an interactive app, which includes several ways to display and interact with the blood flow information that’s processed in real-time. The data will allow users to perform exercises to manage stress, anxiety, mood, and memory, among a host of others, using several types of stimulus feedback, including video, audio, and gaming.

The HEGduino is currently being crowdfunded on Crowd Supply, with pledges starting at $15, for just the sensor, schematics, and parts list to build your own. $35 will get you the HEGduino in kit form with your choice of WeMos Lolin32 or Adafruit Huzzah32 Feather, while a fully-assembled device is selling for $50.

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Author: Cabe Atwell

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