‘Mind pilots’ steer plane sim with thoughts alone

by Michael Franco, CNET.com  |  published on May 28, 2014

2014-05-28_14-17-04
Thanks to her kick-butt skill of telekinesis (my secret superhero power wish), longtime X-Men alum Jean Grey can move things with her mind. And she’s not the only one.

New research out of the Technische Universität München (TUM) in Germany is hinting that mind control might soon reach entirely new heights — even by us non-mutants. They’ve demonstrated that pilots might be able to fly planes through the sky using their thoughts alone.

The researchers hooked study participants to a cap containing dozens of electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes, sat them down in a flight simulator, and told them to steer the plane through the sim using their thoughts alone. The cap read the electrical signals from their brains and an algorithm then translated those signals into computer commands.

Seven people underwent the experiment and, according to the researchers, all were able to pilot the plane using their thoughts to such a degree that their performance could have satisfied some of the criteria for getting a pilot’s license.

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