In Dubai, a drone company is displaying drones that can be flown with the power of the mind alone. The company is called Emotiv.
|Mind-controlled drones go on display at Dubai forum|
At this year’s Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, Emotiv are displaying their new lightweight plastic headset that can read the electrical impulses from the brain though the scalp, record them on a computer and then configure the thought patterns into instructions for a small drone.
This means that using brainwaves alone, it is now possible to activate a drone and send it flying through the air. You imagine the drone taking off and it obeys.
Olivier Oullier, president of Emotiv, says the device is more than an impressive party trick.
“What is more important than the hardware is the fact that we have this community of people that are sending us the data, and that we’ve got the data scientists and machine learning and deep-learning algorithms that allow us to identify patterns.”
To built up a database of how the brain functions under different conditions, the company has distributed 80,000 headsets that are being used by 120,000 people in 120 countries.
They record activities that range from monitoring sleeping patterns to using the headsets to control video games.
The results, says Mr Oullier, have widespread applications: “Think about any job where attention is required to save lives, to preserve lives. Pilots, power plant operators, surgeons, or just a person working at their desk.”
By monitoring brain activity it is possible to detect when that person starts to mentally drift off from their task and then warn them via an app.
“There are people who cannot focus for more than 45 minutes,” Mr Oullier says, “The app tells them to take a break, go for a walk.