Scientists aren’t content with controlling drones with simple remote control devices that any RC airplane could use. Instead, they are now looking into how to control drones with the mind.
Currently, researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio are using funding from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to figure out how soldiers in the future would control drones with their mind, using nothing but brain signals. So far, they have, along with researchers from the University of Minnesota, created a non-invasive way of measuring brainwaves that, when coming from specific parts of the brain, make the drone do different things.
Virtual helicopters in a computer program have already accomplished as much, with the latest prototypes showing a lot of promise. It takes training to be able to operate them, though. The students testing out the system had to use a system of exercises that teach them to use their brain in specific ways that will influence the behavior of the drone.
What kind of impact will this have on the future of drones? This is where most people think drones are going anyway, but the future might be coming sooner than we ever thought depending on how their research turns out.