Gadget Geeks: Mind-Controlled Parachute

In the UK tonight 25th February 2012, Gadget Geeks, a Sky 1 HD TV series about… you guessed it… GADGETS, will be showing an episode where they design and test a mind-controlled parachute system. The programme shows on SKY 1 and SKY 1 HD at 7pm.

Check out the trailer at the bottom of this post.

The insert below i’ve pulled straight off the Gadgets Geeks page within the Sky 1 website.

TOM: I have never had a more nerve-wracking project. The worst case scenarios going through my head weren’t the parachute failing – we had so many fail-safes that wasn’t an issue – but an early detonation caused by some bizarre grounding fault or malfunction.

CHARLES: We had to be careful with this one. Our testers wouldn’t use a piece of kit that was dangerous we needed to make a system that was made around what they needed us to build, not the other way around. This was from how the headset fit inside the helmet, to the cut out features built into the firing solution.

TOM: So let’s start with the headset. It’s an off-the-shelf EPOC system from Emotiv. While it isn’t useful for medical applications, it’s perfect for smaller, fun projects like this one. It picks up µ rhythms, which are related to the brain’s motor control systems – it actually reads the patterns of neurons firing in your head. It can’t understand or interpret thoughts, but it can be trained to watch for a specific pattern and send a signal. I turned that signal into a command sent to Charles’ magical box of tricks.

CHARLES: This box of tricks was one of my favourite looking and functioning gadgets to build. As I couldn’t be with Tom and Colin for the final test day it had to be idiot proofed to use and fix. With only 2 buttons and 2 leads it was simple to operate, and I used all the space inside to make sure it kept out of the way of the diver. It worked well in the tests, but I must admit I was waiting with baited breath for Tom and Colin’s messages about how it worked on the day!

TOM: I’ll say this: I’m glad it was Colin up in that plane. I’ve skydived before, and I’m never doing it again.


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