In this April 16, 2016 photo. a University of Florida student uses a brain-controlled interface headset to fly a drone during a mind-controlled drone race in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/ Jason Dearen)
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Here's how the technology moves from abstract thought through the digital realm and into the real world: Each EEG headset is calibrated to identify the electrical activity associated with particular thoughts in each wearer's brain – recording, for example, where neurons fire when the wearer imagines pushing a chair across the floor.Professor Juan Gilbert, whose computer science students organized the race, is inviting other universities to assemble brain-drone racing teams for 2017, hoping to push interest in a technology whose potential applications seem to be limited only by the human imagination.The idea of collegiate brain-drone races pleases Dr. Bin He, a biomedical engineer at the University of Minnesota who first demonstrated a mind-controlled drone in public in 2013 .A 2014 Defense grant supports the Unmanned Systems Laboratory at the University of Texas, San Antonio, where researchers have developed a system enabling a single person with no prior training to fly multiple drones simultaneously through mind control.In the this system, instead of the pilot thinking certain thoughts to move the drones, she looks at a screen with flickering signals, triggering brain activity that translates into specific movements.
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