Helicopter controlled by brain

Orbit; Helicopter controlled by brain (Credit: Puzzlebox)

Puzzlebox, a group specialized in developing brain-controlled toy land robots and video games for the past two years, has now planned to sell brain-controlled helicopters to the public. The group is expecting to teach the children about neuroscience and focus/concentration by attracting them towards the helicopter; Orbit, that can be controlled by brainwaves and that comes with open hardware and software.

Puzzlebox is working on to develop open source code to convert EEG signals, i.e. electrical activity in the brain, into such instructions that could be read by a robot.

Puzzlebox’s campaign on Kickstarter to get manufacturing funds has already gotten more than double the targeted amount of $10,000 in less than half the time.

You can see the orbit structure in the picture. According to Puzzlebox, the Orbit’s shell is to protect the blades of the helicopter during its collision with the walls and ceilings. The helicopter has also a Bluetooth connection with a Mindwave Mobile EEG headset made by NeuroSky, the company that is also behind the Necomimi robotic ears. This Bluetooth connection is required to communicate with the device. The helicopter can be made to fly forward or higher by connecting “mood” patterns taken by the EEG headset with the flight instructions.

Puzzlebox "Pyramid" (Credit: Puzzlebox)

Orbit helicopter could be controlled by using the headset, a smartphone, and Puzzlebox mobile software. Puzzlebox “Pyramid” is an optional piece with the set that collects data read by the headset and could remotely controlled the system. Ring of colored lights on its front face could be used to reflect the “moods” of the person.

From Puzzlebox,

For the past two years we have been publishing Open Source software and how-to building guides for hacking RC helicopters with Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) control using NeuroSky andEmotiv EEG headsets. 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.

Puzzlebox demo in the classrooms (Credit: Puzzlebox/kickstarter)