The UDrone presents a novel type of interface, developed by the company EEG Smart. Although the drone is not exactly ‘mind-controlled’, the package (drone plus headband) presents a different type of hands-free drone experience.
The package comes as a drone and a head-piece band (which the manufacturer terms a ‘brain computer interface’). The band works by picking up electromyographical activity on the scalp. The band contains sensors, fitted behind the ears.
These sensors function by picking up electromyographic activity from the masseter muscle (the facial muscle that plays a major role in the chewing of solid foods).
The video below shows the drone and headset being demonstrated:
The band is capable of detecting slight facial movements and converting these into commands. The drone and headband were sent to Digital Journal for review and, after a little practice, the drone can be made to move in a particular direction via the weaning of the headband. This makes for a different experience – certainly a number of different gestures are required – and a bit of fun. It will take a bit of practice, however.
The drone can be operated indoors or outside (with the user at close proximity). For this reviewer’s test, the drone was only tested for a short period of time indoors.
The package contains:
UDrone – the drone itself.
UMind lite – the headband.
Extra propeller set.
Mini battery charger base.
Propeller installer and changer.
To use the drone an app is required and connection to WiFi, to enable controls via a smartphone. Once connected, the drone flies well. There is an auto-flight control system maintains stability during flying ad there are three adjustable speed settings. The drone is charged by a USB cable.
The drone comes with a camera, which can also be activated using the headband (a double-blinking activity) or by making a hand gesture (a peace sign). This is a little tricky but it can be achieved, again with practice.
The UDrone has recently been launched on Indiegogo, with a current offer of around $300 for the drone and headset.