Technology TED Talks

When flying robots meet mind control

Everything is a remix, Kirby Ferguson told us at TEDGlobal 2012, explaining that the essence of creativity is the welding together of others’ ideas to form something new. We couldn’t help but think of this when we saw an article on TheVerge.com about researchers at Zhejiang Univeristy’s CCNT lab who have combined brainwave technology and airborne robotics to create a quadcopter that is controlled by thought alone. See how the Flying Buddy 2 works in the video above.

This amazing creation seems like the meeting of two classic TEDTalks. Below, watch Tan Le and Vijay Kumar discuss their advancements in brainwaves and robotics, respectively.

Tan Le teaches us the intricacies of the technology we see at work in the mind-controlled drone — the algorithms through which they taught a machine to map brainwaves, facial expressions and neuron firings.

Vijay Kumar gives a demonstration of cognizant flying robots. The robots are so responsive and durable that they can be used as autonomous first responders or to transport cargo.