Middle East

Mind-controlled drones in Dubai

Emotiv has displayed their new technology of mind-controlled drones at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai. The new lightweight plastic headset can read the electrical impulses from the brain though the scalp, record them on a computer and configure the thought patterns into instructions for a small drone.

It is now possible to activate a drone and send it flying through the air just by using brainwaves alone. “What is more important than the hardware is the fact that we have this community of people that are sending us the data, and that we’ve got the data scientists and machine learning and deep-learning algorithms that allow us to identify patterns,” said Olivier Oullier, president of, Emotiv.

The company has distributed 80,000 headsets that are being used by 120,000 people in 120 countries to build up a database of how the brain functions under different conditions. By monitoring brain activity it is possible to detect when that person starts to mentally drift off from their task and then warn them via an app.

“There are people who cannot focus for more than 45 minutes. The app tells them to take a break, go for a walk. When they come back after five minutes, their attention levels are back up, where as if you had kept that person two hours in front of a computer, they are less efficient,” said Oullier.