Drones Guided By The Mind Alone
Swarms of drones can now be piloted by an operator's thoughts.
(Mind drones from ASU)
Panagiotis Artemiadis, head of Arizona State University’s Human-Oriented Robotics and Control Lab, is developing a navigation system that allows a drone pilot to operate a swarm of drones with only their thoughts.
Drones are primarily controlled with joysticks or mobile phones, which means a pilot can only operate one drone at a time. With a human brain interface, however, a pilot could control multiple drones simultaneously, pulling them into formation as a group or dispersing them on discrete flight trajectories.
“We first train the human subjects to be able to imagine those behaviors,” Artemiadis told Seeker, “and then we train an algorithm to relate those behaviors to activations from different parts of the brain.”
Commands are transmitted to the drone via an electroencephalogram worn on a pilot’s head.
Science fiction great Clifford Simak wrote about a mind-guided drone probe called a taper in his still-amazing 1961 novel Time is the Simplest Thing:
His treads left no tracks upon the floor as they had left tracks upon the sand dunes before he'd come upon this dwelling place, if that was what it was...
The floor was hard and smooth and of a bright blue color and a very easy for him to roll on. His pace slowed to a crawl, his treads whispering on the floor, his sensors out and working, and the whirring of the tape that sucked up sight and sound and shape and smell and form, recording temperature and time and magnetics and all the other phenomena which existed on this planet.
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