"Mind-Controlled" Airplanes Might Just Be A Thing

A mind-controlled iPhone? Sure, we'll take it. A mind-controlled Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1? Why not? A mind-controlled airplane powered by the pilot's brainwaves? Hold on for a moment while we look for the nearest emergency exit.

Using your mind to control an airplane sounds bonkers, but according to this CNET report, researchers are working on just that. A team from the Technische Universität München (TUM) in Germany strapped electroencephalography electrodes to the heads of participants, put them in a flight simulator - not a real aircraft, thank heavens - and instructed them to control the plane using only their minds.

Even though few of the participants had any cockpit experience, the experiment was apparently a success since they were all able to fly so well that they could have gotten a pilot's licence.

Aerospace engineer Tim Fricke, who heads the project at TUM, said in a statement: "A long-term vision of the project is to make flying accessible to more people. With brain control, flying, in itself, could become easier. This would reduce the work load of pilots and thereby increase safety. In addition, pilots would have more freedom of movement to manage other manual tasks in the cockpit."

Seriously, can they not take a leaf out of Google's book and just make self-steering airplanes? Much simpler, no? [CNET]

Image credit: Technische Universität München