A New Horizon: Brain-Controlled Devices

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Drones aren't anything new. But, controlling them with your brain waves certainly is. And that's only the beginning of research for Dr. Juan Gilbert, Chair of the University of Florida's Computer and Information Science and Engineering Department. In April of 2016, Dr. Gilbert and his students conducted the world's first brain-controlled drone race. Using a brain-computer interface, or BCI, students moved their drones along a race course. Through the interface, their brain waves "pushed" their drones in the directions of which they were thinking. Now, Dr. Gilbert and his team are continuing their research into how this works. They're also working on making their brain-controlled drone race an annual event--and involving other academic institutions. Beyond all of that, though, they're looking at the implications for future additional brain-controlled devices. Dr. Gilbert's numerous professional awards include being named one of the "Top Ten Innovators" by the Chronicle of Higher Education in 2013, according to the university's faculty page. He is also an Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor, whose research areas include both machine learning and human-centered computing. Dr. Gilbert talked about implementing the brain drone race, some of the challenges to making it work and how the system operates. On this edition of Over Coffee®, you'll hear: How Dr. Gilbert and his students first came up with the brain drone race; Some of the challenges they had to overcome to make this groundbreaking race a reality; How the brain-controlled interface works; What key factor affects an individual's ability to fly a drone with brain waves, according to research so far; What the experience was like, onsite at the race; How Dr. Gilbert's team is currently planning to upgrade future brain-drone races; The implications of brain-controlled drones and uses for other future devices; Another cool brain-controlled "toy" which Dr. Gilbert and his students are researching; His vision for future brain-drone races; His advice to students who want to work in STEM innovation; One of the most important lessons Dr. Gilbert has learned, during his career as a cutting-edge innovator.

151 episodes available. A new episode about every 6 days averaging 18 mins duration .