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Scientists Developed Mind Controlled AR.Drone

Would you like to control a drone from your mind? Scientists have a solution. You can control an AR.Drone, especially Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, using your thoughts. Using an off-the-shelf Emotiv Electroencephalography (EEG) headset, a user can control an AR.Drone with his/her thoughts alone.

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Scientists from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China have devised the mind/brain control interface for the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0. Prior to this, the Parrot AR.Drone was controlled by iPod touch/iPhone/iPad/Android Devices (details can be found in our earlier post). The interface has taken the controlling to a new level through an Electroencephalography (EEG) device. This EEG device has to be strapped around the head, which then records electrical activity along the skull. It also measures which parts of EEG device wearer’s brain are active and which aren’t.

A user can control an AR.Drone with his/her thoughts using the EEG device. First, the user’s thoughts/commands are relayed to a laptop via Bluetooth and later the thoughts/commands are transferred to the hovering aircraft by wireless. A user can move the hovering AR.Drone forward by thinking “right”, fly up by thinking “push”, turn clockwise by thinking “left”, take off from the ground by thinking “left hard”. Clenched teeth is a sign of commanding the AR.Drone to descend. Blinking is a sign of commanding the AR.Drone to take a picture using the on-board camera. The on-board camera sends a stream of video back to the laptop. The EEG device wearer can capture any still photo/scene by blinking four times.

Scientists are going to present the system at the Ubiquitous Computing Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania next month. We hope scientists would say at their presentation something like this, “Maybe one day in the future, people can use brain (control) to drive a plane in which they are seated, and go anywhere they want to go.”

Source : New Scientist

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