Using brain waves to control technology, especially robots and machines, nothing seems to be impossible. The United States has had many universities to develop mind control of FPV drones using brain waves. One researcher at Arizona State University (ASU) says in the mere future, tasks that are more complex and complicated will be done by robots. That’s what made him develop a system that can control robots with the human mind. It is almost like a mind-controlled drone and robots.
Panagiotis Artemiadis, an associate professor of Engineering at Arizona State University and the director of “Human-Oriented Robotics and Control Lab”, has been studying brain waves with mechanical manipulation. In 2014, he began to research human minds in controlling multiple machines and robots. The lab was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and US Air Force of $860,000 on the same year, to build the mind-control system.
“Ten or 20 years from now, instead of having big expensive aircraft or drones, you can have hundreds or thousands of inexpensive ones you deploy in an area,” Artemiadis said. “Even if you lose half of them, you can still achieve your goals.”
Each person generates images and ideas in different parts of their mind, and releasing different wavelengths. The drone operator will wear a headgear, which looks like a swimmer’s cap, connected to 128 electrodes and cables that detects brainwaves. The electrodes will identify where thoughts and commands originate from the mind and intently sending the commands to another computer which sends and communicates the final command to the drones via Bluetooth.
Although with this technology a person could only control up to 4 UAVs, Artemiadis hopes to continue with this research and successfully coming up with a system which can control up to 20 or even hundreds of drones at once with a single human mind, hovering in the same direction and manoeuvring around the target. In addition to military applications, it can also be used for search and rescue mission, transporting supplies and gather information.
Artemiadis also said he does not expect this mind control system to completely replace pilot’s joystick and computers – at least for the time being. Using brainwaves to control robots and machines needs strong concentration, sometimes causing a person to feel uncomfortable and stressful, which may not be entirely suitable to be used in a battlefield.
“We are adding more degrees of freedom and more capabilities,” he said.