Scientists have been able to control the movements of turtles through human brain waves by developing a new form of brain-computer interface. Using human thought to control an animal is a dramatic leap in technological engineering of this sector and could be used in the future for improving virtual and augmented realities or to create new tools for military surveillance and reconnaissance.
This discovery is essentially a real-life Avatar concept, although on a more realistic (thus much smaller) scale. Humans have successfully been able to control another being by remotely transferring human consciousness into another biological body. The team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) used brain-computer interface to translate brain waves into commands that could guide and control the movement of a turtle test subject. Cleverly the team took advantage of turtle’s instinctive nature that draws them towards light, harnessing this natural impulse by attaching a semi-cylinder on the turtles back to block out light. This could be opened and closed using human thought thus allowing them to control the turtle’s movements.
The cyborg system which constitutes of a camera, a computer control module, a battery and a Wi-Fi transceiver is what fundamentally aids the controlled movement while the human-turtle BCI (brain-computer-interface) features a human operated head mount integrated with BCI technology.
Research such as this provides developers with a fresh outlook on the versatility of their technology. The study has been published in The Journal of Bionic Engineering and explains how turtles were controlled to move across various surfaces both indoors and outdoors. Human thought caused the turtles not only to move but to tackle multiple obstacles such as trees and shallow water making the tech open to further development for use in military operations.