Science

Thought-Powered Helicopter Navigates Obstacle Course

Controlled by a "cap"

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Researchers have harnessed the power of thought to guide a remote-control helicopter through an obstacle course.

The demonstration joins a growing number of attempts to translate the electrical patterns of thoughts into motions in the virtual and real world.

Applications range from assisting those with neurodegenerative disorders to novel modes of video game play.

The research in the Journal of Neural Engineering uses a non-invasive "cap" to capture brain electrical activity.

It is not the "mind-reading" of fiction. The approach, and others like it, require that an electronic system be "trained" to recognise patterns in an electroencephalograph—a map of electrical activity.