General, Research, Technology

American engineers learned how to control a drone with arm muscles

Over the past few years, drones have become partmodern technological life. This has long been more than just entertainment: drones are widely used in the military sphere, to deliver goods, people organize competitions (races) on them. By the way, it was drones that became one of the effective ways to track patients with coronavirus and quarantined people in Singapore and other most developed cities in the world. In most cases, such devices are controlled using sticks on the control panel, however, US engineers were able to configure the drone to respond to muscle contractions in the human hand.

Interestingly, they also know how to control cars?

Gesture drone control

Researchers from Massachusetts TechnologicalInstitute (MIT) created a special controller that reads arm movements and muscle activity, and then turns the data into commands for the drone. For example, if a person with a bracelet on makes a brush move to the right, the drone will repeat this after him and turn right. When moving up - the drone will gain height, and so on.

To realize this, scientists placed onthe forearm is an electrode bracelet, and also two pairs of electrodes are fixed over the biceps and triceps. The bracelet measures muscle activity in the forearm, and the electrodes measure the muscles that are located a little higher. Thus, the device covers almost all the muscles of the hand. When muscle cells move, an electric potential arises, which has become the basis of a new type of drone control. See how it works.

One could guess that it could not have done without neural networks.

In fact, this is not the first attempt by scientistscontrol drones with gestures. Even large manufacturers of quadrocopters (of the same DJI) have the corresponding experience - the drone is already able to fly behind the owner and even understand its movements, however, all these systems work on the basis of the camera. In the dark or at a great distance, it is simply impossible to use such a control method. Another thing is hand tracking devices that are able to track gestures according to the readings of the accelerometer and gyroscope. But they also have a strong error, if, for example, a person makes several movements in a row. In the case of American engineers from MIT, the error is minimal, and the drone can work even in complete darkness. True, scientists do not disclose the maximum distance of work. Follow us on Google News to be the first to receive news about such projects.

Did you know that drones can help humanity in the fight against global warming? Here is how.

Where can I use a drone

Why is this needed? For example, the police chased the intruder and decided to use the drone. An officer can place a similar bracelet on his hand in a few seconds, launch a drone and control it not with the remote control, but with the muscles of his hand. For foot pursuits, such a topic is definitely useful. And it would be even cooler if the policeman had a device like Google Glass, where he could track the image from the drone’s camera.

But in general, you know that all this reminded me? ThalmicLabs Magic Myo device, it was reviewed by our colleagues with a few years ago. The entire inner side of this bracelet, consisting of links connected by elastic fasteners, is covered with special contact plates, which are responsible for recognizing the electrical impulses that occur when muscles of the arm contract. You can use it to control a computer (instead of a mouse) and even a phone (although I don’t see the point in it), but I couldn’t tame the Thalmic Myo drones.