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New Tech Art Project, The Cognichrome, Lets You Paint with Your Thoughts


New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/20/2014 -- Imagine creating a painting with just your thoughts. A new brain to computer interface (BCI) art project called the Cognichrome promises to do just that. The Cognichrome is an art installation which reads brain waves and transfers them into a real life painting on canvas using a robotic arm and real paint. A user is shown a variety of different images intended to provoke a range of emotions from joy to anger, and sadness to laughter. These emotions are interpreted by a computer which then signals a robotic arm to render the brainwaves as colors and shapes on canvas, creating a painting. Thus, the picture evolves with the user’s actual thoughts. When the user is ready, they are able to take the painting home as a permanent reminder of what they have felt and experienced.

The Cognichrome is work in process, with the software and brain scanner fully operational, while the robot and rest of hardware is under development. The device uses a consumer grade EEG reader, akin to Neurosky’s headset or the Puzzlebox Orbit hardware which are based on decades of research and development. The interpreting computer’s software relies on machine learning algorithms to detect and translate the emotions that are provoked. The primary hardware used in the Cognichrome, the robot arm, can be implemented using a number of commercially available offerings from the likes of Kuka and ABB.

The creative lead behind the Cognichrome, Gene Ekster, who studied Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence at U.C. Berkeley, views this endeavour as an open project, and welcomes contribution and collaboration. Paintings produced through the Cognichrome are currently rendered in a simple manner; perhaps a red or blue zigzag line on canvas. However, the artistic programming creating the painting can be replaced or upgraded, leaving room for creative input from the BCI community. This is therefore an important component in continuing development and creating an ever evolving project.

The Cognichrome can be right at home in art galleries, festivals and similar mass audience events where the man to machine art installation can be exposed to the general public. Brain to Computer Interface technology is still in its infancy but clearly has the potential to dramatically alter the way humans interact with computers. It is essential that this BCI device is made available to everyone and can be experienced and enjoyed by all.

About Us
The Cognichrome Project
15 Cliff St.
New York, NY 10038
(510) 967-7977

More information about the Cognichrome and the Cognichrome project can be found at or by contacting Gene Ekster at The Cognichrome website has an informational video and equipment specifics.