The advancements made in technology are always on our radar here at PLuGHiTz Live. Whether in communications, environmental engineering or entertainment, we love to see the progress that is made. It is particularly interesting when it happens to be fun gadgets that are being improved upon. Now, let's amp that up a bit - the improved gadget for today's discussion is a drone that is controlled by your mind. Short of something the likes of flying cars, it doesn't get any cooler than that!
Dr. Marvin Andujar, with the University of South Florida's Computer Science and Engineering Department, was kind enough to stop by and show off this new technology. He and his team have been working to perfect their Smart Drone in the school's Neuro-Machine Interaction Lab. Flying the drone with your mind is possible, in large part, due to the Brain-Computer Interface device that they created. This is what allows your mind to send commands to the drone. And as cool as this is on its own, one of the real-life applications in which they use this device is to race drones. The goal is to allow people with physical challenges the ability to pilot the drones themselves, using only their brains. This is so exciting because it equals the playing field for those who couldn't normally compete in this type of activity. Thus making it a universal sport where everybody can compete at the same level. The participants are able to imagine the movements and the drone will perform the tasks.
To accomplish this, they start off by creating a personal profiler of the pilot, which in turn trains the device to complete certain movements to correlate with specific thoughts. To begin this process, they have the pilot meditate for a few minutes to get the brain to a neutral state. Then they ask them to think of very specific things, like pushing a chair forward or opening your left hand. This creates patterns that they save to their profile, and these patterns are different for each individual. They then decode the iAnd they also have an eSport version with a simulator drone that allows you to fly your drone anywhere through your computer.nformation and send it to the drone through the profile via a software that was also created for the process.
Not only can this technology be applied to drone racing, but it also has many other practical real-world applications, as well. It's also good practice to train your attention, especially for those who have ADHD. Other health initiatives could relate to communicating with those who are incapacitated. And just imagine the possibilities in the smart home arena, from opening and closing doors to changing the color of the lighting depending upon your mood.
Be sure to watch the full interview to learn more specifics regarding the drones, the races and how Lucas Films was interested in the technology as it relates to "The Force."
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