Puzzlebox Orbit - Brain-Controlled Helicopter

Posted: December 03, 2013
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The power of the human mind. It inspires nothing less than awe and reverence. Even the minds of idiots, which often serve either as entertainment or pleasurable, self-elevating disbelief that someone could be dumb enough to inadvertently take a swig of gasoline, spit it out, and then light a cigarette to get the taste out of his mouth. The Puzzlebox Orbit, a brain-controlled helicopter, gives us further reason to marvel at this exceptional organ between our ears.

Aptly named, the Orbit consists of a small helicopter whose propellor spins inside an open spherical cage. Used in tandem with the system's NeuroSky MindWave EEG headset, pilots can fly the Orbit by clearing their minds, focusing on the device, and maintaining uninterrupted concentration after liftoff. It's as much of a tool for developing attentive skills and mental relaxation as it is a toy for showing off telekinetic powers.

In addition to serving as a nifty gift and trainer, Puzzlebox has chosen to make the Orbit open source, and published online all of its code, hardware schematics, 3D models, and step-by-step hacking instructions. The company encourages people not only to improve themselves with their products, but improve their products themselves by precisely tailoring each Orbit to the mind using it. Wow! And...uh-oh.

The Orbit Mobile package includes a Puzzlebox Orbit Helicopter, an IR transmitter, a USB charging cable, and the NeuroSky MindWave mobile EEG headset. Also required are an Android or Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch) mobile phone or tablet. Orbit software is free and can be downloaded directly from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Note: Puzzlebox recently developed a brain-controlled helicopter add-on called the Pyramid. The Pyramid is a base station and RC unit for the Orbit that uses multi-colored LED lights to indicate a pilot's levels of concentration, mental relaxation, and EEG signal quality during helicopter flight. At printing the Pyramid had sold out of its first run, with stock supply replenishment anticipated in January 2014.

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