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Submission + - The brain powered helicopter (

SternisheFan writes: (CNN) -A toy helicopter controlled by nothing but brainwaves could be available to the public just in time to hover under this year's Christmas tree. Currently touted on crowd-funding website Kickstarter --where it has already exceeded its pledge goal twice over --the Orbit comes equipped with an electroencephalography (EEG) headset, capable of reading electrical activity along the scalp. "As you focus your mind on something --whether it be a math equation or the lyrics of a song --your brain produces electric signals," explains Steve Cattelotti, CEO and co-founder of Puzzlebox, the San Francisco-based company behind the project. "The headset monitors those signals and converts them into flight commands," he says.
    There are future plans to enable multi-directional control, but in its present incarnation signals sent from the brain can only be used to lift the helicopter off the ground. "When you concentrate, up it goes; when you mentally relax, it comes back down again," explains Cattelotti. Aside from its obvious entertainment value, Puzzlebox are pitching the Orbit as an educational toy that will help improve concentration and relaxation skills. According to Cattelotti, the art of keeping mentally focused is inherently difficult to master. "If you're learning how to ride a bike, there's a very obvious, physical indication when you improve --you stop falling off," says the 34-year-old computer science graduate. "It's much harder to know when you're concentrating properly and, to a lesser extent, relaxing, because there is little scope for accurate, real-time feedback."

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The brain powered helicopter

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