By wearing an emotiv electroencephalography (EEG) headset, the researchers showed how they can pilot the drone simply by thinking "left hard" to have quadcopter take off and land, "left lightly" to rotate, "right" to move it forward and "push" to have it fly up. If users clench their teeth, the drone descends. Blinking the eyes causes the on-board camera to snap a photo.
The EEG headset first relays commands from Bluetooth to a laptop, then via Wi-Fi to the drone. The quadcopter, named Flying Buddy 2, also live streams video footage of the flight back to the laptop to give users better control.
BLOG: Brain Hackers Pluck Your Private Data
Researchers will present their mind-controlled drone this week at the 14th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp 2012) in Pittsburgh, Pa. Check out the team's demo video below. Make sure to stick around until the end, where there's some pretty wicked drone-on-drone combat, a fight almost as fierce as the time Daniel LaRusso battled Johnny Lawrence for the All Valley Karate Tournament.