Monkey controls wheelchair with brain

Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina have created a working Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) on a monkey brain. Mounted in a wheelchair, the monkey learned to control the wheelchair with his mind, in order to get the shortest route to a bowl of grapes. In three to six weeks, the monkey's driving skills significantly improved, and they managed to speedup their grape-task from 43 to a whopping 27 seconds. Interestingly, they recorded some differences in the brain when at the task, soms neurons became more strongly tuned to the distance between the wheelchair and the grapes. Read more interesting details about the experiment at the Guardian.

Life-saving ambulance drone

Apart from firebrigades, also for ambulances, drones can come in handy. Imagine a drone delivering a defibrillator on-site within much less time than an actual ambulance can. Let's hope this soon gets reality!

Drones used by firebrigade in The Netherlands

The firebrigade in Twente, The Netherlands are evaluating drones when fighting fire. The drone, with the name "Argus" is used to stream video to the controller in case of fire. This video is recorded from two cameras, a visual-light and a thermal camera. The 7kg Altra ATX8 octocopter can fly up to 40 km/hour. Video can be streamed

Life-size drone: EHang 184

Finally! Good news from the drone-mania world! EHANG, a Chinese company has shown a prototype for its EHANG 184, a life-size drone. Yes! It can fit you and transport you around town. Despite being awesome, I am quite hesitant to enter the fully automatically controller drone, after only entering some vague waypoints on a map. It should be able to carry 100kg and fly for 23 minutes, so forget about this baby taking you to a holiday destination (although it can fit one piece of handluggage).