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The public is clearly infatuated with drones, and the ultimate vision of the future is being able to control devices with the human mind. So, it should come as no surprise then that the latest advancements in technology have produced drones that are controlled and operated by a person’s thoughts. That’s right, I’m talking mind-controlled drones! And no, this isn’t some theoretical concept that’s years away from fruition – there has already been what’s since been classified as the world’s first drone race involving a brain-controlled interface. Mind-controlled drones are here, now!

This type of technology isn’t as mind-blowing (no pun intended) as one might think. Brainwaves were discovered and have been monitored for well over a century now, while brain-controlled technology has already broken through in the field of prosthetics, where amputees can control their artificial limbs through their thoughts. Now that this sort of technology is breaking into the mainstream, drone manufacturers are taking notice, creating mind-controlled devices powered by nothing more than a headset strapped to a person and the power of their mind.

For the aforementioned drone race, which took place at the University of Florida, 16 pilots donned headsets equipped with sensors that create an interface between their brainwaves and the drone, literally allowing them to make the drones fly and move just by concentrating and thinking it. The entire race was a meditation on human willpower, aided, of course, by some fancy tech. The tech in question is an EEG headset calibrated to process electrical activity associated with specific thoughts and brainwaves. These thoughts are translated by code that effectively turns these signals into commands that computers then deliver to the drones, causing them to react.

This sort of mind reading technology could have revolutionary applications beyond that of just making drones fly with your thoughts. “One day you could wear a brain-controlled interface device like you wear a watch, to interact with things around you,” said Professor Juan Gilbert, a computer science professor at University of Florida. Our minds could essentially become tools we use to perform physical tasks, while this EEG tech could be employed to monitor our state of consciousness and mood. As mind-controlled drones continue to progress the brain-controlled interface field, we could be on the precipice of a new age where the human mind will truly be the most powerful tool to possess.

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