The Pentagon Wants to Control Drones With Soldiers’ Brain Waves

The Pentagon is trying build tech that would give soldiers the ability to control deadly military drones with their minds.

“Working with drones and swarms of drones, operating at the speed of thought rather than through mechanical devices — those types of things are what these devices are really for,” DARPA neuroscientist Al Emondi told MIT Tech Review.

Emondi heads up DARPA’s Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology program, which the agency launched in March 2018 in the hopes of developing a brain-computer interface (BCI) that doesn’t have to be surgically implanted.

In May 2019, it awarded six teams of researchers across the U.S. funding to pursue that goal, with each approaching it from a different angle. A team at Carnegie Mellon University, for example, is testing whether electrical and ultrasound signals could support a non-invasive BCI, while a group out of Johns Hopkins University is exploring the viability of near-infrared light.