Researchers Develop Mind Controlled Flying Drone

Conscious Life News
September 5, 2012

(Discovery News) Mind-controlled applications and drones have been quite in vogue as of late, wouldn’t you say? We’ve told you about scads of brain-computer interfaces and our list of drone-related projects stretches as far as the finger can click.

So, naturally, it came as no surprise when this landed in our lap: a brain-controlled quadcopter drone.

Researchers at Zhejian University in Hangzhou, China, developed the quadcopter with the intent to give those with impaired motor skills a new way to interact.

By wearing an emotiv electroencephalography (EEG) headset, the researchers showed how they can pilot the drone simply by thinking “left hard” to have quadcopter take off and land, “left lightly” to rotate, “right” to move it forward and “push” to have it fly up. If users clench their teeth, the drone descends. Blinking the eyes causes the on-board camera to snap a photo.

The EEG headset first relays commands from Bluetooth to a laptop, then via Wi-Fi to the drone. The quadcopter, named Flying Buddy 2, also live streams video footage of the flight back to the laptop to give users better control.

Researchers will present their mind-controlled drone this week at the 14th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp 2012) in Pittsburgh, Pa. Check out the team’s demo video below. Make sure to stick around until the end, where there’s some pretty wicked drone-on-drone combat, a fight almost as fierce as the time Daniel LaRusso battled Johnny Lawrence for the All Valley Karate Tournament.


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