Full disclosure — we’ve brought you news of quadcopters that you can fly with your mind before. That doesn’t make the University of Minnesota’s latest addition to the pack any less awesome. The copter designed by professor Bin He and his team has some pretty smooth moves, maneuvering itself through an obstacle course of ballons much more gracefully than I did the last time I had to navigate an obstacle course full of ballon rings. What can I say — fifth-grade Ian was not exactly a graceful creature. It made for a rough day at Discovery Zone.
The quadcopter is piloted by an electronic aviator outfitted with an EEG helmet, rather than the off the shelf Emotiv EEG reader we’ve seen used in the past. The team published the results of their latest work — along with this nifty video — yesterday in the Journal of Neural Engineering. While quadcopters are a excellent first step, the team hopes their research will eventually lead to thought-controlled devices that make everyday life easier for people with disabilities — imagine an oven or overhead light, for example, that turned on and off at nothing but a resident’s whim. Or a prosthetic hand that responds to the thoughts like a natural hand. But do it quickly, as you might not have to imagine them for long.
The real burning question on our minds, though, is can it deliver a pizza?
(via Scientific American)
- One day we’ll all have our own personal drones, and it may be sooner than you think
- They will escort our children to school
- And maybe even do some composing