Neural Security in the news

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 6.54.49 AM

When VICE Motherboard visited us last month to talk about surgical hacking, they also took some time to learn about the lab’s work on neural security and brain hacking.  Several articles are now available:

VICE Motherboard: How Hackers Could Get Inside Your Head With ‘Brain Malware’

Daily Mail UK: Hackers could get inside your BRAIN: Experts warn of growing threat from monitoring and controlling neural signals

Naked Security by Sophos: How hacking brainwaves could reveal our deeply guarded secrets

This research is by Tamara Bonaci, Katherine Pratt, and Howard Chizeck.

Spring and Summer Quarter announcements

Now that we’re in the full swing of summer quarter we’re looking back and highlighting some of the accomplishments of spring quarter and welcoming our summer research students.


C. Matlack; H. Chizeck; C. T. Moritz, “Empirical Movement Models for Brain Computer Interfaces,” in IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering , vol.PP, no.99, pp.1-1 doi: 10.1109/TNSRE.2016.2584101


Katherine Pratt was awarded as a member of the inaugural Husky 100 class.  This award recognizes 100 individuals from across the UW campuses for work in and out of the classroom.  Read more from the department here.

Summer Students:

We are super excited to have high school and college students from UW and beyond working with us in the lab this summer:

Hannah is a rising sophomore here at the University of Washington.  She’s worked in the lab previously, and is spending the summer working with Andrew Haddock on haptic diagnostic tools for patients with Parkinson’s Disease.







Matt Ehlert is going to be a junior this fall at the University of New Mexico.  He’s working with Katherine Pratt and Howard Chizeck on BCI security.







Gabriel Solia is a visiting masters student from Brazil.  His work includes the Microsoft Hololens, and he’s working with Sam Burden and Ryan Robinson.





File Jul 25, 11 42 39 AM


Jane Yi is a high school student working with Gabriel, Sam, and Ryan on the Microsoft Hololens project.







Anisha Uppugonduri is a sophomore here at the University of Washington, and is working with Maggie Thompson.





File Jul 25, 11 42 15 AM


Nishi Kaza is a rising junior at Skyline High School.  He’s working on the touchless touchscreen project.’





Magena Fura (not pictured) is working with us through the CSNE Research Experience for Undergraduates program.  She’s working with Maggie Thompson.

Alex Franke (not pictured) is working with us through the CSNE Research Experience for Undergraduates program.  He’s working on neuroethics with Tim Brown.

BRL research on telerobotic security featured on VICE Motherboard

UPDATE 7/27/2016

VICE Motherboard has posted several more articles following the YouTube video originally posted.  They are part of a larger series, The Hacks We Can’t See.

Why We Should Be a Little Paranoid About Hackers Messing With Robot Surgeons

The Internet of Things Will Turn Large-Scale Hacks into Real World Disasters

Original Post

Victoria Turk of VICE Motherboard interviewed BRL investigators Howard Chizeck, Blake Hannaford, and Tamara Bonaci on the security of teleoperated surgical robots. Tamara demonstrates to Victoria what it would feel like to operate the Raven II surgical robot while it’s under a denial of service attack. You can read VICE Motherboard’s article here, and you can read Tamara’s paper on the subject here.


Lab tours with local student groups

File Jun 02, 3 38 25 PMWe have been excited to host several groups of students over the past few weeks, both in our lab and elsewhere on campus.  In May we were excited to have several students from the Discovery Lab of Ellensburg and the Robotics and Invention Club from Foster High School in Tukwila visit.  Special thanks to Kristi Morgansen and her graduate students for also sharing their autonomous underwater vehicles (top photo), and the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.  We also recently demonstrated our haptic and surgical robots to students with Time to Invent from Northgate (bottom photo).





Larry Bencivengo featured by Mercer Island School District

One of the teachers who worked in BRL last summer through the CSNE Research Experience for Teachers, Larry Bencivengo, was recently featured by the Mercer Island School District for his work in developing an artificial neural network curriculum.  Larry and fellow teacher Paul Zimmer worked on haptics in addition to their curriculums.  Larry also received a grant through the Partners in Science program and will spend the next two summers doing research with the departments of medicine and ophthalmology (read more about that here).  Congrats, Larry!