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Pilots may someday be able to control their aircraft with thoughts

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The concept that the human mind may be capable of exerting control over outside objects via thoughts is proving to be more than a notion in a science fiction story. It may actually be possible for pilots to control their aircraft by simply thinking commands reported Science Daily on May 27, 2014. It has been demonstrated by scientists that it may be possible to do this with amazing accuracy.

It's true that pilots of the future may actually be able to control their aircraft by simply thinking commands reports Technische Universitaet Muenchen. It has been demonstrated by scientists of the Technische Universität München and the TU Berlin that it is possible to fly via brain control with incredible accuracy.

In the EU-funded project called "Brainflight" scientists who have been working for Professor Florian Holzapfel have been researching ways in which brain controlled flight might be feasible. Aerospace engineer Tim Fricke says a long-term vision of this project is to make flying accessible to a greater number of people. He says flying itself could become easier with brain control. This would lower the work load of pilots and therefore increase safety.

These scientists have logged in their first major breakthrough. They have successfully demonstrated that brain-controlled flight is really possible with astonishing precision. Seven subjects took part in tests with flight simulators. They said the accuracy with which the test subjects stayed on course by simply thinking commands would have partially sufficed to fulfill the requirements needed to pass a flying license test. Deviation from target headings was minimal and landing under poor visibility was accomplished.

What happens to make this possible is electrical potentials are converted into control commands. Brain waves of the pilots are measured using electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes which are connected to a cap in order for humans and machines to communicate with each other. The scientists developed an algorithm, Physiological Parameters for Adaptation, which allows the program to decipher electrical potentials from the human brain and convert them into useful control commands.

Fricke says pure signal processing is used wherein clearly defined electrical brain impulses which are required for control are recognized by the brain-computer interface. This all presents us with fascinating considerations in dealing with the untapped powers of the human brain.

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