Researchers have harnessed the power of thought to guide a remote-control helicopter through an obstacle course. The demonstration joins a growing number of attempts to translate the electrical patterns of thoughts into motions in the virtual and real world. Applications range from assisting those with neurodegenerative disorders to novel modes of video game play. The approach, require that an electronic system be ‘trained’ to recognise patterns in an electroencephalograph.
Those thoughts, such as that of making a fist with the left hand, are then correlated with motions of the helicopter - in this case to the left. The electroencephalograph remains a chaotic and largely indecipherable mess of electrical signals, but those related to motion - or the mere thought of it - have proven to be comparatively strong and repeatable. Even technology firms see potential in the idea; Samsung is reportedly working on a "mind-control" tablet device.