First Race of Brain-controlled Drones Builds on U of M Research

Girl using BCI headseht to race drone
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A recent competition at the University of Florida featured a race of 16 drones guided by human thoughts. The technology, called Brain Computer Interface (BCI), has been used in the past to help some paralyzed people manipulate prosthetics with their minds. In 2013, University of Minnesota biomedical engineering professor Bin He, PhD, first presented a drone controlled by BCI, in which electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets are fine-tuned to determine the electrical activity linked with specific thoughts in the brain. Programmers then write code to convert these signals into commands a computer sends to the drones. Regarding the drone race, Prof. He noted: "The progress of the BCI field has been faster than I had thought ten years ago. We are getting closer and closer to broad application." Read more about the competition and the technology behind it here