Human Augmentation Research & Technology
The aims of the project are:
- Leveraging the capacity of the brain to recognize patterns to broaden the human perceptual experience.
- Research how learning processes take place in the brain.
- Creating a symbiosis between artificial intelligence and the human brain.
In the long term, we want to create an AppStore for the human body, but instead of apps, it contains new senses. These senses can be downloaded onto a piece of tactile hardware with which the user can get acquainted with these new patterns through haptic sensations.
In the process of creating this technology, the goal of the project is to raise awareness about brain capabilities and human augmentation while researching the optimal way to leverage the capacity of the brain to learn new patterns.
Generally, HART works towards the three pillars - research, technology, and awareness:
Our research is mainly focused on the topic of neuroplasticity. We want to answer questions such as:
- How does the brain process sensory input? What happens in the brain if the sensory input location is changed?
- How much additional sensory information is the brain capable of processing on top of “regular” sensations, and why?
- What are the most efficient ways to communicate new information (haptic feedback) such that it becomes subconscious over time? What are the best patterns?
- What are the limitations for information dimensionality the human body is capable of processing?
- How long does it take for a person to internalize new sensory information types? What are the perception limitations? What characteristics play the most prominent role (age)? Which data parameters are affected?
And a number of other questions answering which will help to develop a framework discussed below.
By utilizing the best practices the research questions reveal, ultimately, we aim to develop a universal framework for additional sensory information. That is, to be able to communicate as many different types of data to the brain in patterns such that their meaning can be learned and made subconscious. For instance, when listening to a speech, you don’t need to consciously think about it to understand the meaning. We aim to achieve a similar effect with information human beings are not naturally equipped to internalize (for example, electromagnetic fields, foreign languages, or infrasounds).
As a first step, we are developing this technology to be non-invasive.
We aim to raise awareness and build a community around human augmentation/enhancement, especially in the field of neurotechnologies. Nowadays, in large part, the general public associates such innovations with invasive devices that require surgery to utilize. On top of that, very few understand the potential benefits these technologies can bring and why they are important. So, HART strives to lower the bar for using neurotech by introducing the public to easy-to-use brain technologies being developed around the globe and increase a general understanding of neuroscience and related fields by communicating knowledge via social media (with illustrations, quizzes, etc.) and public events (lectures, conversations within ourselves and other scientists, symposiums, etc.).
Mariia Turchina is a co-founder of HART. Her interests lie in exploring and pushing the limits of the symbiotic relationship between human beings and machines by unraveling the methods for their mutual complementation of intelligence. Between 2015 and 2017, Mariia researched the growth of Semiconductor Nanowires with the Nanotechnology Research Center at St Petersburg Academic University and Russian Academy of Sciences while pursuing Competitive Programming at St Petersburg State University. In addition, she pursued undergraduate studies in Theoretical Physics at Maastricht University (2017-2018) and Electrical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (2018-2019). Mariia has earned her Honors degree in Artificial Intelligence from the Eindhoven University of Technology in 2021. Currently, she is completing her degree in Applied Mathematics at the same university and doing an internship with the Cognitive Computational Neuroscience Group at Maastricht University, where she investigates the segregation of figures from backgrounds in the visual cortex.
Victor Brouwers is an Applied Physics master's student at the Eindhoven University of Technology, specializing in Nanotechnology, Quantum Mechanics, and Photonics. He obtained his bachelor's degree in 2020 cum laude with honors by comparing an algorithmic approach to a Machine Learning approach for Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) feature recognition. Victor also became a qualified high school Physics teacher during this time.
He was awarded two master’s scholarships, and he co-founded Team HART in 2020 since he is highly interested in bringing Human Augmentation to life.
His master's graduation project will focus on on-the-fly Machine Learning to combine force fields with Density Function Theory (DFT) for faster molecular simulations.
Robin van Hoorn
Robin van Hoorn is currently pursuing a double master's degree, combining Innovation Management with Data Science & Artificial Intelligence at the Eindhoven University of Technology. He obtained his bachelor's degree in Computer Science in Engineering in 2020, cum laude and with honors. He has always been interested in finding new and interesting ways to enhance the communicative capabilities of humans. However, apart from approaching this from a purely technological point of view, Robin is specializing in human performance enhancement, finding ways to increase motivation and productivity for individuals and teams. After co-founding Team HART in 2020, he has been focusing on both technological and team development. In 2021, Robin was awarded a scholarship to further improve his technical capabilities in the fields of Data Science & AI.
Wolff Voss, a co-founder of Team HART, is an Applied Mathematics BSc student at the Eindhoven University of Technology. A notable previous project was focused on creating a vision-based autonomous drone. Within Team HART, Wolff's focus has mostly concerned marketing and PR.
Ben Esseling is pursuing bachelor's degrees in Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at the Eindhoven University of Technology. His current fields of interest include Robotics and the Technology associated with Human Augmentation. Since a young age, he has been a member of various Robotics teams where, most notably, he was part of the winning team at the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships. Besides studying and robotics, he currently holds a board position at the aforementioned team and has been a technology-focused member of HART since December 2020.
Eline Ensinck is a student at the Eindhoven University of Technology pursuing a bachelor's degree in Psychology & Technology. In her studies, she follows the Robotics track as well as electives in the fields of Neuroengineering and Computer Science. Her main interests are in Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience. Besides studying, she has been active in various orchestras from a young age.
Gilles Bonné is an Applied Physics student at the Eindhoven University of Technology. He obtained his bachelor's degree in 2019 with his research on next-generation glass transitions studies using novel Monte Carlo simulation techniques. During his master's degree in Applied Physics, he did an internship at ASML on resist model calibration for the deep and extreme ultraviolet lithography simulator. He co-founded a technical consultancy company on finite element modeling and fluid simulations. Currently, he is working on his master's degree graduation project at a biotech startup in Rotterdam, focussing on improving the detection limit of integrated photonic point-of-care biosensors.
Brigitte van der Lugt
Brigitte van der Lugt is an Industrial Design & Innovation Sciences master's student at the Eindhoven University of Technology. She has obtained her Industrial Design bachelor's degree with honors from the same university (2016-2019). In 2019, she presented her published research about the possibilities of wearable technology and the role of smart garments at the ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers in London. Within her projects, she focuses on designing solutions for socio-technical challenges and the sustainable transformation of ecosystems. Since April 2020, Brigitte is a student research assistant for the department of Industrial Design.
Julie van der Hijde
Julie van der Hijde is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Psychology & Technology at Eindhoven University of Technology. She is specialized in Robotics and follows electives in Neurophysiology, Cognitive Neuroscience, and Medical Image Processing at the Electrical Engineering department of Eindhoven University of Technology. She always had an interest in researching and optimizing the crossroads between technologies and their users. During her bachelor’s, she has developed a special interest in Neuroscience and Neural Engineering. Currently, Julie is working on her graduation project in which she investigates automated grading systems in education.
Julie Hamoen is pursuing bachelor's degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Her current fields of interest include Human-Computer Interaction, Healthcare, Robotics, and UX/UI. Because of her interest in Robotics, she joined a committee that organizes weekends during which students build their own robots and compete with one another. Moreover, Julie's education in Industrial Design has inspired her to consider the user aspect of technology, which she also explores within Team HART. She has been a member of the team since January 2021.
Lourens Touwen is an Applied Mathematics BSc student at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Aside from mathematics, he is enthusiastic about technology entrepreneurship. He has a keen interest in software engineering, which is his main area of expertise within HART. Lourens' previous projects include deploying an AI prototype for the CPG industry and a board year at Eindhoven's debating association.
Sander Steeghs received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Eindhoven, in 2019. His current fields of interest include (Embedded) Software Development and prototyping. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Embedded Systems at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Hendrik Lohse is pursuing his bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics at the Eindhoven University of Technology. In his studies, he follows three specializing tracks on Analysis and Geometry, Stochastics, and Algorithms. His main interests within Mathematics lie in (functional) Artificial Intelligence and everything that has to do with Probability. Within HART, he has been a technology-focused member since May 2021.