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Researchers Create Mind-Controlled Helicopter

Submitted by on June 6, 2013 – 10:03 amNo Comment

You know those toy helicopters you control with your smartphone? Yeah, that’s so last century. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have just unveiled a quadcopter that is mind-controlled.

A non-invasive cap of EEG sensors goes on to the user’s head, and picks up signals that can send the device in three-dimensional direction.

The lead researcher, Professor Bin He, says he hopes the technology will soon be applicable to prosthetics.

Members of the research team explain that imagining the right, left, or both hands making a fist fires off neurons on a particular side of the brain, which is translated into a command for the quadcopter.

Earlier this year, a company began selling a toy helicopter that was similarly activated by thought; but the Puzzlebox Orbit is activated by levels of brain activity, not specific commands.

Already, the most advanced prosthetics are controlled by thought, after being attached to the nerve endings of amputated limbs. Direct brain implants can even allow quadriplegics to control robotic limbs. But the non-invasive EEG sensors would create a new standard for ease and comfort.

In a more light-hearted form with wider appeal, a Japanese company has already created bionic “ears” that use similar technology, and headphones that can create a playlist based on your mood.

What do you think of the mind-control technology?

[via CNET]

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