One pilot can now control up to three drone aircraft, thanks to a brain chip developed by the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), according to Defense One.
> The work builds on research from 2015, which allowed a paralyzed woman to steer a virtual F-35 Joint Strike Fighter with only a small, surgically-implantable microchip. On Thursday, agency officials announced that they had scaled up the technology to allow a user to steer multiple jets at once.
> “As of today, signals from the brain can be used to command and control … not just one aircraft but three simultaneous types of aircraft,” said Justin Sanchez, who directs DARPA’s biological technology office, at the Agency’s 60th-anniversary event in Maryland.
Not only does the latest brain chip allow the pilot to send messages to the aircraft but it also allows the pilot to receive signals in return, for the first time permitting full-circle communication.
> “The signals from those aircraft can be delivered directly back to the brain so that the brain of that user [or pilot] can also perceive the environment,” said Sanchez. “It’s taken a number of years to try and figure this out.”
> In essence, it’s the difference between having a brain joystick and having a real telepathic conversation with multiple jets or drones about what’s going on, what threats might be flying over the horizon, and what to do about them.