Students at MacEwan University have managed to fly a drone using mind control.
Giving their account of how they got the technology working, the students involved, Stephen Doyle, Alex Crowder, John Simmonds and Mark Reid, described how it seemed like their 650th attempt.
Almost giving up, and thinking the feat was impossible, Doyle who was wearing the EEG cap, managed to get the drone to tilt and finally lift.
They describe it as ‘stuttering off the ground’ and seeing it go up.
John Simmonds commented: “It was the best feeling in the world just to see it work. Because we knew that regardless of what happened, we had done the work and would have gotten the grade at the end. But for ourselves, we wanted to see our project work. We wanted to see it go somewhere.”
Watch the drone in action here:
By the end of the project’s lifespan, the students had to tether the drone so it wouldn’t get too high and crash into the ceiling, but the operator needed to have a steady mind and clearly think about what ‘up’ and ‘down’ meant to them.
Dr Jeffrey Davis, assistant professor in computer science at the University said: “An interesting outcome for this project was that every time the students got the drone to fly through thought, their excitement would in turn cause their mind to lose focus and the drone to crash.”
He concluded: “It seems that emotion rather than thought may be the better way to fly the drone.”