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BCi-Move: Empowering severely disabled children to achieve power mobility with brain-computer interfaces (BCIs)

Principal Investigator:
  • Adam Kirton, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute
  • Kids Brain Health Network
  • Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation

Project Overview

Thousands of Canadian children living with severe physical disability are intellectually capable but unable to move independently. They are trapped inside their bodies, deprived of their fundamental human rights to interact and participate. An emerging technology, brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), are a potential solution. BCIs allow individuals to interact with their environment using only their brainwaves. Growing evidence from our unique program, BCI4Kids, has shown that children with severe disabilities can successfully use BCIs. Children and families in the BCI4Kids program have now identified exploring movement with BCI as a top priority. In a pilot study we have already seen 6 children use BCI to activate a wheelchair, gaining an enormous sense of accomplishment. The current study, BCi-Move, will determine if BCI can be used to achieve personal mobility goals through a customized 3-month training program. Success will be measured by individualized goal achievement, skill progression, and quality of life. BCi-Move will immediately allow disabled children to realize new levels of independence and freedom. As the only child-and family-centered pediatric BCI program in the world, we are ideally positioned to work with our national network of partners and dedicated families to broadly impact the lives of children with severe disabilities.