A brainwave-controlled helicopter project was fully funded by Kickstarter, and is hoping to come into homes very soon. The project was initially posted as a DIY hack on Instructables two years ago, and it’s supposed to be an educational toy.
The company behind the project, Puzzlebox, will release guides and software to make it easy for children as young as 10 to understand, rebuild and modify their helicopters. The system uses a NeuroSky MindWave Mobile EEG headset to record brainwave data. This is sent to software on a tablet, smartphone or a specifically-designed pyramid-shaped base. This software converts the brainwave data into flight commands, which control the flight of the spherical helicopter, called Orbit.
In the tablet/smartphone setup, the command signals are sent via an infrared dongle connected to the audio port, whereas the pyramid version has high-powered infrared emitters that can be used to operate other toys and devices, like TV screens.
Users can select an action for the helicopter to perform, like hovering in place or flying across the room. Once the EEG headset detects a particular mental state has been reached and maintained, it emits the right commands.
The project amassed $74,000 out of a goal of $10,000 and was fully funded on December 8.
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