Everyone must have fantasized about controlling objects with their mind. Well, this is no more science fiction. Drones that can be controlled with the mind are being developed. These drones fly based on one’s thoughts and the changes in the electrical potential that these thoughts produce in the brain. These electrical waves of the brain are sensed using electro-encephalogram or commonly known as EEG.

Testing Phases

Such drones controlled using human thoughts are currently in the testing phase in various parts of the world. The US Military started this testing project in 2015 and these tests were mostly based on simulation only. Real time mind control of a stealth fighter has also been implemented by DARPA – Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency. Few volunteers who were otherwise paralysed and unable to fly air borne vehicles were let to control drones with their thoughts alone. The mechanism used by the US Military to get the EEG was primarily brain transplants. Now, developments have been made to have a non-invasive skin tight cap with electrodes to read the EEG.


Image : The testing of brain-controlled drones done by DARPA in association with the University of Arizona

Mind controlled drones are not in development just in the US. Researchers across various parts of the globe are working on bringing a fully developed mind-controllable drone out to the world.

Here, we can see a Russian military researcher trying to control a drone with his thoughts at a Russian facility.



Issues to be Resolved

While these mind-controllable drones are certainly mind-boggling, they require a lot of complicated coding. In addition,  the person controlling these drones must have a very high level of concentration. Even a slight distraction in the thought process can give out different electric potentials and this can make the drone fly wildly.

A graduate student from MacEwan University, John Simmonds has developed a working model of the brain-controlled robot. He says that by thinking that he is actually doing push-ups, he can make his drone fly up or down.


Image : John Simmonds fully focussing his thoughts on making the drone fly.

Telekinesis, as we have seen, is not something that exists only in science fiction. It is an undeniable reality and we can surely see amazing developments in this area and its applications in several areas.