Mind control just keeps getting better

Brain control has always been an interest of mine and when I saw stuff like Puzzlebox Orbit I thought we are getting better and without a big cost as NeuroSky’s MindWave is an amazing piece of technology at an incredible price.

Now really the Orbit has limited control given they are limited to using concentration levels as measured by the MindWave, but the guys at the University of Minnesota have really taken this to the next level as they have a quadcopter flying through an obstacle course and doing other stunts controlled only by brain control.

I had thought about doing grad studies in this area in the 90’s but really the technology to make all this stuff happen is happening now so all I can say is WOW!!


thats pretty cool, thanks for sharing.

Id really love to try that and see how natural it begins to feel over time. The whole imagine making a fist without actually doing it thing seems a little cumbersome just sitting here at my desk… but given a few hours flight time maybe it would become second nature?

I guess it depends on how unique peoples brains are… If there’s not some sequence of “brain waves” (or whatever they’re called) common to all people - standard patterns for turn left, turn right, etc - then there will always be some training involved.

This reminds me of a TED talk from a few years ago: http://www.ted.com/talks/tan_le_a_headset_that_reads_your_brainwaves.html . The relevant few minutes starts around 4:00. Her stuff is more expensive than the NeuroSky gear but it seems more powerful, too…

Other mind controlled drone, this time Parrot :

Mhh … I’ve a Parrot 2… interesting …

It seems like many, many years ago the idea at the time was to fly a plane (someone’s military plane to be precise :wink: ) and one of the problems was ‘focus’ in that humans don’t really focus on stuff for very long, think of human focus as being a singled thread CPU, it might have an important task to do like fly a fighter jet, but it also has a boat load of other tasks to do and even worse some of those other things are pretty much totally random like ‘what am I doing for dinner tonight’ sort of things so when hooking up the brain to tasks like flying a plane these other brain thoughts could pretty much crash the plane, so one of the things that makes this application interesting is they are ignoring brain switching by not using focused thought per say, but settable peripheral control by the brain, ie you can make a fist and then leave it as a fist while thinking about something else. The ultimate idea of brain control is to have the device read your thoughts (I want to fly to the Seychelles Islands) and then have it handle the details and make it so (which means it also needs to ignore some thoughts which don’t fit the desired objective), so for example the idea here is to fly through a hoop, big task, so its broken down into littler tasks, go up, go down, go left, go right sorts of commands, but again that brain focus thing is deadly, so they do those commands, not so much by thought, but by action instead (which does involve a kind of thought). So we still have a long ways to go, but we are a heck of a lot further ahead than we were 25 years ago and the fact that I can hookup a NeuroSky Mindware Mobile to a gadgeteer device and make my mind do something is freaking amazing. I would have happily killed for some of the devices we have now, back then, and so I look forward to the continued acceleration of this technology in the future.

Yeah you raise some good points. I guess what we need is a fighter jet where you just think “Take out that MIG then do a super sweet flyby of the tower making that crotchety guy spill coffee on his uniform” and the plane carries out the plan.

Of course there’s not much reason for a pilot in there…

Hey! Not all MIGs are bad! :smiley:

And ultimately we are finding that the meat bag in the front isn’t needed as the interface from the brain to the computer to the control system really isn’t needed as its much easier to instruct the computer to shoot down the MIG without letting a meat bags ADD get in the way. Piloted aircraft are on their way out and Skynet is on its way in, except we want to make sure there is a really good on/off button somewhere.

Toss in the physical performance limitations of the meat bag and the writing is carved in stone that the meat bag will be looking for a new line of employment.

[quote=“Duke Nukem”]
Piloted aircraft are on their way out and Skynet is on its way in, [/quote]
Just in case that’s true, I’d like to be the first to publically welcome our new robot overlords.

I see this in Computex in Taipei.