Researchers are now using US Department of Defense funding to explore what could be the next big step in drone technology: mind control.
Daniel Pack, who manages the Unmanned Systems Laboratory at the University of Texas at San Antonio, told Business Insider that his goal is to be able to create entire groups of drones controlled with a simple thought.
Thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, professors and graduate students from various departments at UTSA are exploring how brain waves can be translated into commands for nearby drones. The US Army Research Laboratory was also involved in some of the funding for the research, which will run until spring 2016.
A separate, $400,000 grant provided brain-wave measuring equipment — electroencephalography, or EEG — which includes a set of electrodes. Placed on the subject’s scalp (see below), these pick up on the wearer’s brain waves, which vary depending on thought processes or activities. Machines are programmed to translate specific brain waves into commands, meaning that they can be controlled just by thinking.