While we’ve previously seen crafty inventors fly drones with the assistance of devices like the Apple Watch or the Nintendo Power Glove, researcher Panagiotis Artemiadis is working on a technology that will take drone control to a whole new level.
The scientist that heads the Human-Oriented Robotics and Control Lab at Arizona State University has come up with a way to control multiple drones using simply the power of your mind.
To accomplish this, Artemiadis and his team have devised a special skullcap that connects your brain to a computer through 128 electrodes. The device then records electrical brain activity and proceeds to decipher and convert your thoughts to movements that the drone(s) can understand.
Unlike joysticks that allow controlling only one drone at a time, this mind-control technology can handle up to 4 drones collectively. However, Artemiadis hopes to increase this number to tens and possibly hundreds in the near future.
While the researchers claim to know what section of the brain is responsible for communicating thoughts to the drones, the technology is not yet perfect.
For one, it is key that the controller is completely focused on the task at hand to fly the drone(s) successfully or otherwise the system won’t work. Additionally, the method requires minor adjustments whenever a new operator puts on the cap.
What’s particularly noteworthy is that this technology allows wider applications since it can also be adapted to support other robotic machines.
As users on Reddit have already remarked: “If nothing else, World War III will be technologically interesting.”
Read next: How to successfully manage creative projects