If you’re not a bit amazed with the stealth camera I posted yesterday, maybe this one will: researchers in China have built a quadcopter — which is officially called the FlyingBuddy2 System — that can be controlled by thought alone.
I know what you’re thinking right now, but no, they’re not using telekinesis. Well, not directly, I guess. Anyway, the Zhejiang University researchers have utilized the power of Emotiv electroencephalography (EEG) headset, which, by the way, is commercially available.
The EEG uses the brain activity of the user and interprets it as commands for the copter. By using Bluetooth, the commands are relayed to a laptop, and then wirelessly to the flying machine.
If you’re wondering how the whole scenario plays out, well, the user can control the copter by just thinking “left hard” for take off and landing, while thinking “right” commands it to move forward, “push” for ascending, and “left light” for turning clockwise. For descending, the user will only have to clenched his teeth. For taking pictures, the user will only have to blink his eyes.
Don’t just take my word for it, you’ll have to see this video to be amazed:
According to the researchers, their ultimate goal with this breakthrough is to help physically challenged people to do things that are not possible before.
“Maybe one day in the future, disabled people can use brain [control] to drive a plane in which they are seated, and go anywhere they want to go,” the researchers stated in their presentation.
If you’re located at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, you’ll have the chance to see this invention first hand at next month’s Ubiquitous Computing Conference 2012.[New Scientist]