Brain-controlled drone races are now a reality


The new sport of drone racing is so popular that it has already landed a spot on ESPN television. But a new twist could soon turn the sport into something that looks less like geeks flying planes and more like Jedi’s attempting to use the Force against each other.

The Human-Experience Research Lab (HXRL) at the University of Florida claims to have created the first brain-controlled drone race.

Using Emotiv brain computer interface (BCI) devices, which utilize EEG brain activity data, the racers must focus on a graphic in a software program and attempt to think of pushing that graphic forward, thus producing electrical signals that affect the trajectory of the drone.

Researchers have been experimenting with this brain-controlled drone idea for a couple of years, but now that drones have entered the mainstream in the last 12 months, expect to see more focus on this particular area of drone control.

Based on this latest video, it’s still very early days in terms of creating races that really look competitive (or fast), but the fact that this is even beginning to be tested is exciting.

If you can fly a drone using your brain, how long will it be before NASCAR goes full mind control mode? Sounds unlikely now, but watch the video above and ditch your skepticism before it’s too late.


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