Scientists Build a Thought-Controlled Drone

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University of Minnesota researchers have developed a drone that can be controlled by a person’s thoughts. Participants were then able to pilot and navigate the drone aircraft through an obstacle course with their thoughts alone.

Drones are taking over the world.

Now, University of Minnesota researchers have developed a drone that can be controlled by a person’s thoughts.
Study participants were hooked up to noninvasive electrodes that measured their brain activity in a series of training exercises.

Participants were then able to pilot and navigate the drone aircraft through an obstacle course with their thoughts alone.

Participants in the study had up to a 90 percent accuracy rate of avoiding obstacles.

The drone that the researchers used was a Parrot quadrotor, which is a commercially available drone aircraft.
Computer software translated their brain patterns into directional commands which were transmitted wirelessly to the drone’s navigation system.

The director of the University of Minnesota's Institute for Engineering in Medicine and the senior author of the study said: “We want to control a wheelchair, turn on the TV, and most importantly, to develop a technology to use the subject's intention to control an artificial limb…and make it as natural as possible.”

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