Researchers at the University of Minnesota have demonstrated that brain waves can control the movement of a quadrocopter, flying the robot up, down, forward, backward and through hoops.
Using only a skull cap with electrodes that picks up on the brain activity — not a fancy or invasive chip implanted in the brain — the researchers hope the idea could someday be used for people who don’t have the ability to speak or control their limbs.
“It may even help patients with conditions like stroke or Alzheimer’s disease. We’re now studying some stroke patients to see if it’ll help rewire brain circuits to bypass damaged areas,” Karl LaFleur, first author of the study and senior biomedical engineering student who is going on to medical school, said according to the university.
Watch how it works:
“My entire career is to push for noninvasive 3-D brain-computer interfaces, or BCI,” professor Bin He said, according to the university’s website. “[Researchers elsewhere] have used a chip implanted into the brain’s motor cortex to drive movement of a cursor [across a screen] or a robotic arm. But here we have proof that a noninvasive BCI from a scalp EEG can do as well as an invasive chip.”
It’s not the first time thought-controlled technology has been demonstrated. We’ve seen other researchers learning to fly drones with their mind and even how similar technology allowed a paralyzed woman to feed herself for the first time.
Unlike other technology, He said his team’s is the first to use both functional MRI and EEG to know exactly where the brain signals are coming from and interpret with a computer interface what actions they are commanding.
The research, published in the Journal of Neural Engineering, states that five test subjects were trained and proved able to control the quadrocopter with their minds.
(H/T: Daily Mail)