Mind-controlled quadcopter turns thoughts of flying into reality

Do you like to think about how cool it would be to fly? A group of researchers at Zhejiang University in China has developed a way to harness those thoughts, turning them into control signals for a real flying Quadcopter.

FlyingBuddy2 is a camera-equipped quadcopter that can fly over objects, capturing pictures and video from a unique perspective. A series of basic thoughts control its movements, while specific actions like blinking four times will activate the camera. To control the 'copter, the brain-generated signals are read by headset and transferred via Bluetooth to a laptop, then relayed from the laptop to the quadcopter using Wi-Fi.

None of this technology is really new. We've had quadcopters for a while, and have seen brain-controlled interfaces before, but this is cool because it takes something that we think of as being tricky, flying a quadcopter, and removes the physical human element.

The developers see this primarily as a tool to help motor impaired folks, providing them with a extra set of eyes that have a perspective that even an able-bodied person doesn't have. Their next move will be to present the technology at the Ubiquitous Computing Conference in Pittsburgh next month.

Check out the video where you can see the researchers pit FlyingBuddy2 against a regular hand controlled quadcopter in a dogfight. The commentator is pretty hard to understand, but she does stop taking before the action starts.

New Scientist, via PopSci

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