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Mind-Controlled Drones Are Coming Right Up

July 14, 2016

Robotic warfare is looking more likely as the director of the Human-Oriented Robotics and Control Lab at Arizona State University is creating technology that would allow an Air Force pilot to control a small fleet of drones using their mind.


The director in charge of the robotics project, Panagiotis Artemiadis, has been working on human-robotics interaction for several years.  The lab was awarded $860,000 in 2014 from the  Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and U.S. Air Force to develop the mind-control technology.

The goal of the project is to eventually have hundreds of cheap drones or other aircraft be deployed with the technology as opposed to having a few large and expensive drones or aircraft.

In the video, a PhD student is wearing a tightly fitted cap that are hooked up to 128 electrodes that detect brainwaves. The electrodes determine the user’s commands and then communicates those commands to the robot with Bluetooth.

Currently, the project has allowed the pilots to be able to control four drones at one time, but plans to eventually put that number into the hundreds.

The technology could go beyond military applications and could be used for search and rescue missions and distribution.