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Mind-Controlled Drone Research Progressing

The Daily Beast reported: “The mind-controlled drone trials took place in Pittsburgh between June 2016 and January 2017, according to DARPA. ‘Using a bidirectional neural interface, a volunteer named Nathan Copeland was able to simultaneously steer a simulated lead aircraft and maintain formation of two, simulated unmanned support aircraft in a flight simulator,’ Tim Kilbride, a DARPA spokesperson, told The Daily Beast.

“Test-subject Copeland, who is partially paralyzed, never actually steered a real drone using only his thoughts. Instead, he channeled his thoughts through a medical implant embedded in his skull, which used electroencephalogram—or EEG, the same method doctors use to diagnose epilepsy—to interface with a computer simulation of a drone navigating an obstacle course in the company of two robotic wingmen.

“And the communication, in both directions, is limited to vague directional commands. Go left. Go right. The technology isn’t nearly ready to, say, beam a drone’s video stream directly into a user’s brain. ‘High-resolution electro-neural interface with read and write capabilities in 3-D is a long ways away,’ Daniel Palanker, an expert in prostheses at Stanford University, told The Daily Beast.”

Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com, and Robin E. Alexander, President ATC, alexander technical[at]gmail[dot]com, for their assistance with this report.