University of Minnesota researchers led by Professor Bin He have been able to control a small helicopter using only their minds, pushing the potential of technology that could help paralyzed or motion-impaired people interact with the world around them.
An EEG cap with 64 electrodes was put on head of the person controlling the helicopter. The researchers mapped the controller’s brain activity while they performed certain tasks (for example, making a fist or looking up). They then mapped those patterns to controls in the helicopter. If the researchers mapped “go up” to a clenched fist, the copter went up. After that, the copter would go up automatically when the controller clenches a fist.