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Ung Students Test Drones to Be Controlled By Thoughts


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University of North Georgia computer science and information systems department head Bryson Payne controls a Parrot AR Drone 2.0 with a smartphone.

Students at the University of North Carolina are working on drone technology capable of being controlled by thoughts.

Credit: Scott Rogers/The Times

A team of students at the University of North Georgia is testing drone technology that can be controlled by a person's thoughts.

The technology works by brain signals through an electroencephalogram (EEG) sensor headset connected to a small, unmanned helicopter. However, the researchers caution using the technology is not as easy as putting on the headset and thinking directions.

"It's just training the mind to think as if you're clenching your right hand or raising your arm, but not necessarily the actions," says researcher Jeanette Freeman. "So it stimulates that portion of your brain."

Individuals will need to take some time to get used to tricking their mind into thinking they are completing actions without actually moving. "The hardest part will be triggering the rates at which your brain kind of gives off in the EEG reading," says Cayce Koehler, a member of the team.

The technology has many real-life applications, such as helping people suffering from traumatic brain injury relearn to walk. In addition, people who are completely incapacitated would be able to use it to look around the house, and families would be able to check in on loved ones.

From Gainesville Times (GA)
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