Using mind control to fly drones

The University of Florida holds a mind-controlled drone race.

FLORIDA (REUTERS) - Using your brain to power a drone.

The University of Florida holds what it calls the first ever mind-controlled drone race.

Using headsets that measure electrical activity in the brain, 16 competitors use their power of concentration to move the drones down a nine metre long course.

The technology is called brain computer interface or BCI.

"I know there is like other BCI technology out there and I was just so excited to see ... I just saw this on Facebook and I was like I need to participate," said Sara Sosa-Garcia, contestant and neuroscience student.

Daniel Royer, contestant and mechanical engineering student, said, "You start thinking and you hear that motor kick up and you know it kind of kicks you into a different mental state."

Currently, BCI technology is used to help paralyzed people control their prosthetic limbs, but researchers say it could also be the future of technology.

Juan Gilbert, University of Florida professor and chairman of the School for Computer and Information Science and Engineering, said,  "We've been doing research on brain computer interfaces (BCI) so we connected the two for this race. The implications are far beyond the race. It's fascinating. It's the first of it's kind. It's the future."