Mental Work employs Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMI), developed at EPFL in José Millán’s lab, to activate four spectacular machines based on slider cranks, standard mechanisms of the Industrial Revolution. By directly connecting brain activity to these mechanical movements, Mental Work comes full circle to connect over 200 years of human-machine interaction.

In collaboration with the artist Jonathon Keats, the cultural producer Michael Mitchell and EPFL ArtLab, Millán and his team at Campus Biotech have built the first factory dedicated to the Cognitive Revolution: ushering in a new era of human-machine interfaces.

Worker’s brain activity will be recorded using Wearable Sensing’ dry electrode EEG technology.

The data collected during the factory’s operational hours will be used by the neuroscientific community to improve BMI and our understanding of the human brain.

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EPFL Artlab

Case study

We were commissioned by EPFL Artlab via Paperboy to work on the control of the machines. We created a custom software to control the motors, which we assembled together with sensors. Finally we delivered technical advices regarding the mechanical side of the machine.


Custom made

Hardware / Material

Motors, Drivers

Events / Exhibitions

A series of machines driven by your brain. We need workers for this unique experience –> Subscribe on

Opening of the mentalwork exhibition with Round-table discussion moderated by Michael Mitchell(paperboy) with José Millán (Defitech Foundation Chair), Jonathon Keats (Artist) & François Schoch (Director of First Industries).