A non-invasive brain-computer interface (BCI) that allows humans to use thought to control the flight of a virtual helicopter in 3-D in real time, has been developed by researchers at the University of Minnesota Department of Biomedical Engineering.
The researchers trained test subjects to control the flight of the virtual helicopters using EEG electrical signals from the scalp and decoding sensorimotor rhythms (generated by imagining movements).
Although the 64 sensor brain cap used in the testing is far more sophisticated than the consumer based headsets produced by businesses such as NeuroSky, Emotive and Mind Technologies Inc, it does show excellent progress in the field and will pave the way for consumer devices. With full 3D flight being achieved the implications of this tech will be vast. Who know’s what kind of military applications could be developed…..maybe avatar based battlefield drones.
Anyway for us consumer’s it means that soon will have some great toys to play with. Rather than virtual helicopters I can’t way to see those micro copters being flown around the living room, powered by your brain and a commercially available headset.
For more detailed articles check out these links.
- Mind-Controlled Virtual Helicopters Could Aid Prosthetics
- Motor Imagery Based Brain-Computer Interface Controls 3D Movement of Virtual Helicopter
- Brain waves control a 3D game for the first time
- Virtual helicopters piloted with thoughts