Puzzlebox Brainstorms, an open source software suite supporting school projects, has developed a brain-controlled toy helicopter. No, this is not an April Fools joke and you have read that correctly. This toy helicopter flies directly through the control of your brainwaves. As Puzzlebox chief technical officer Steve Castellotti said: “Power up the controller, slip on the headset, and start concentrating.”
The Orbit has already been tested in classrooms, and there are two types: one that can be controlled via mobile devices (probably for us less than stellar concentrating humans), and the other that requires the “NeuroSky MindWave Mobile EEG headset” to control the ‘copter via Bluetooth. The idea has been toyed with before, but never got to full development. Puzzlebox has now done this and is looking for ways to mass produce.
The software and all related design material will be published under Open Source license, as described by the Kickstarter web page: “Now we’re finally making a finished product available to the public, while still freely releasing all source code, available hardware schematics, 3D models, and so on. The goal is to provide a fun toy as well as an educational introduction to BCI and neuroscience.”