Feeds

MIND CONTROL HAT makes CHOPPER do what BRAIN says

'An aperture! Go into it' - can students think anything else?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

In a development with potentially huge consequences in the field of care for the disabled (also the related fields of disembodied brains in bubbling jars, cyborgs, human-machine interfaces etc) a group of students have shown that they can accurately control a small drone helicopter using only a specialised electroencephalographic hat.

Check out the vid:

"In previous work we showed that humans could control a virtual helicopter using just their thoughts. I initially intended to use a small helicopter for this real-life study; however, the quadcopter is more stable, smooth and has fewer safety concerns," enthuses engineering prof Bin He, from Minnesota uni.

Apparently no fewer than five students (three of them female) were able to successfully make the chopper do what they wanted it to. We're told that the controls work like this:

The noninvasive technique used was electroencephalography (EEG), which recorded the electrical activity of the subjects' brain through a cap fitted with 64 electrodes.

Facing away from the quadcopter, the subjects were asked to imagine using their right hand, left hand, and both hands together; this would instruct the quadcopter to turn right, left, lift, and then fall, respectively. The quadcopter was driven with a pre-set forward moving velocity and controlled through the sky with the subject's thoughts.

The subjects were positioned in front of a screen which relayed images of the quadcopter's flight through an on-board camera, allowing them to see which direction it was travelling in. Brain signals were recorded by the cap and sent to the quadcopter over WiFi.

He and his colleagues have published a paper setting out their results, including comparisons with ordinary manually-piloted quadcopters etc, in the Journal of Neural Engineering, here. The prof expects that such methods could be used to let disabled people control cybernetic limbs or other prostheses.

"Our next goal is to control robotic arms using noninvasive brain wave signals, with the eventual goal of developing brain–computer interfaces that aid patients with disabilities or neurodegenerative disorders," He says. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.