The US Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding a new project to enable fighter pilots to steer their craft through mind control.
We imagine the plot of Top Gun might have differed greatly had Tom Cruise’s Maverick piloted his F-14 through mind control instead of through a conventional yoke, though that’s exactly what DARPA, the US Defense Adance Research Agency, has in mind.
DARPA has agreed to fund a research study taking place at the University of Melbourne which could see the development of an advanced – and implantable – brain/machine interface that could allow fighter pilots to control the action of their craft through thought alone. Read: The US Army‘s smart earplugs shield soldiers from loud noises
The mind control system DARPA has invested in is called a stenode, and is capable of flexing through blood vessels to reach its destination within a human body. The stenode’s electrode can measure electrical activity from the brain’s motor cortex, which is responsible for controlling movements.
The stenode is then capable of recording such electrical activity and relaying it to a computer system that can interpret planned movements and use such information to control machinery.
Early trials have seen the research team implant the stenode into sheep, and have thus far collected 190 days’ worth of brain activity.
In a statement to Ibtimes, lead researcher Dr Tom Oxley stated that DARPA plans to use a mind control system to boost the responsiveness of fighter pilots. “œThe military appear interested in the potential for jet fighters to control their planes with direct thought control, rather than using their arms. The reaction time you‘d shave off would be milliseconds,“ Oxley said.
Let’s just hope that our egos aren’t writing cheques that our bodies can’t cash. Read: US Navy‘s Zumwalt destroyers‘ stealth is too effective
What are your thoughts on DARPA’s potential mind-control system for new fighter pilots? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA