Brains Fight It out in This First Ever Race of Drones #WearableWednesday
Drone racing is great, but it gets even better when you add a brain-computer interface (BCI). University of Florida recently held the first brain controlled drone race according to TechCrunch. Participants used electroencephalogram headsets (similar to a NeuroSky device) and focused their attention on moving their crafts forward. This sounds easy, but having experimented with a similar technology myself to move a bot, I can tell you it can be challenging, especially in a stressful environment like a competition. It took me a while to learn the thought pattern required and the payoff wasn’t that swift for the bot. For the University of Florida, not only is there the excitement of this being one of the first events of its kind, there is also the added bonus of ESPN’s partnership, which includes streaming of the championship events. No pressure, folks.
Although this seems like gaming, there are plenty of uses for neuro controlled gizmos. People with physical challenges have already been using them to control keyboard strokes and for sure there are defense applications. Imagine someone who is unable to speak being able to summon help from a robot assistant with just a thought. I’m sure the software being used now is even better than what I tested a few years ago, and it will be interesting to watch the progression of this wearable. Are you curious about the way the mind works? We’ve got a fun little Brain Machine Kit that allows you to meditate wearing a hacked pair of tinted glasses. It uses lights and sounds to pulse a 14 min. meditation sequence of brainwave frequencies that give you a colorful peaceful experience. Have fun and be safe (this kit is not recommended for people with seizures). Tell us about your experience wearing these psychedelic glasses!
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.