A drone race was held recently by researchers at the University of Florida in the United States. The big news in the competition was the power to control the devices with the mind using the technique called “Brain Drone Racing”. Pilots used a headset, an electroencephalogram (EEG) calibrated to capture each participant’s brain’s electrical activity.
Researchers Created First Drone Controlled By Mind
Communication between the electroencephalogram and the drone was made by a brain-computer interface which enables a person to use brainwaves to control a computer or other device. The software could be used on a notebook connected to the headset and the robot.
Contestant Daniel Royer, a mechanical engineering student at the University of Florida in the United States, said, “You start thinking, and you hear that motor kick up and you know it kind of kicks you into a different mental state so you have to focus”.
According to the developers, concentration and focus are required to control the devices. Pilots should think of something like “move forward”. So, the electroencephalogram at the head of each user captures the electrical activity of the brain at that time, and the software interprets the signals and sends commands to the gadget.
The Computer and Information Science and Engineering Department chairman at the University of Florida in the United States, Professor Juan Gilbert, said, “They had been doing research on BCI and decided to connect it to drones for the race. The implications are far beyond the race. It’s fascinating that it’s the first of its kind and it’s the future.”
Unlike science fiction movies, the drone race was nothing exciting since the devices moved very slowly. The big draw was how technology was being used there. With advanced technology, it is possible to imagine, for example, that an amputee could control their robotic prosthesis only with the mind.
Check out the video where researchers explain how the technology works:-