Researchers at China’s Zhejiang University has released a demonstration video on YouTube showing off a mind-controlled quadcopter drone.
The drone system, known as Flying Buddy 2, is controlled using an EEG headset which utilises a very strange set of commands. Thinking “left hard” gets the drone to take off or land, “push” elevates the drone, clenching one’s teeth lowers it. Thinking “left” rotates the drone clockwise and thinking “right” gets the drone moving forward. About the only command that makes logical sense is the one that takes photos, the drone’s on-board camera is activated by blinking.
The drone is supposed to assist disabled users, functioning as another way for them to interact with the world. Commands are send from the user to the drone via a WiFi connection and that same connection is used to stream the quadcopter’s view back to a laptop computer, allowing for better control.
The brain-controlled drone is still in the prototype stages but the progress thus far will be demonstrated at the Ubicomp conference this week.