Thanks to the hard work of a few Russian scientists, everyone might soon be able to use the power of telekinesis. They’ve created a special quadcopter that doesn’t need external controls as it can be operated with the power of thought. The user needs to put on a special helmet that can read human thoughts and translate them into machine-readable instructions, telling the copter how high and far to fly.
The project was financed by Russia’s Foundation for Advanced Research, an organisation that supports research programs in the interest of national defense. Neurobotics, a Zelenograd-based company, worked on the copter’s design for many years before developing a successful prototype. “Commands, or ‘conditions’ as we call them, are generated by the sensors on the head of an operator,” Neurobotics director Vladimir Konyshev explained. “The person thinks about certain actions at right moments which the system then recognises and identifies.”
One of the most notable features of the technology is that it allows the user to multitask. “It is important that the demonstrator who controls the copter can do something else at the same time,” he added. “Only then we can talk about a technology that can be used for military purposes.” So the scientists who are currently testing the device are able to control it while going about other activities simultaneously.
According to Vitaliy Davidov of the Fund of Perspective Research Development of the Russian Federation, the technology is important because it has many other applications apart from controlling drones or copters. “The possibilities for usage of the neurointerface are also very interesting and does not have to be exclusively used for the copter,” he said.
For now, researchers plan to implement this technology during on-the-field combat. For example, a copter can follow a soldier under fire to offer real-time footage of everything that transpires on the battlefield. There’s no indication that the technology will enter consumer segments anytime soon, but if it ever does, there’s no doubt it will be a commercial hit.