WrestleBrainia 3000 teaches middle school students about neural engneering

Nick Holden

Professor Joel Voldman (center) referees a WrestleBrainia 3000 match.On April 5, dozens of local middle school students stuck electrodes to their arms and observed the power of the electrical signals that travel through their muscles. The activity was part of the Office of Engineering Outreach Programs’ Middle School Mentoring Program, which pairs undergraduate and graduate mentors with middle school students from Boston, Cambridge and Lawrence, Massachusetts.

In the activity, developed by the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering – a partnership between MIT, the University of Washington and San Diego State University, among other institutions – electrical signals from the students’ muscles, captured by electrodes, controlled motors in two mechanical arms. Together, those two mechanical arms formed a simulated arm-wrestling game called WrestleBrainia 3000, in which students competed to pin their opponents by generating stronger electrical signals. Read more about this activity and WrestleBrainia on MIT's Office of Engineering Outreach Programs' news blog.