Japanese scientists have created a device that allows anyone to control a mini toy Gundam robot, one of anime's most popular fictional battle robots, with their mind.
The researchers customized a mobile suit Zaku Gundam robot toy available through Bandai's Zeonic Technics line that allows buyers to manually program their robot using a smartphone app.
For the mind-controlled prototype, researchers for NeU, a joint venture between Tohoku University and Hitachi, developed a version that moves in response to brain activity.
In order to control the Gundam robot toy via brain activity, the NeU team built a headband-like device that syncs with the robot.
The researchers programmed their device to send brain activity data to the Zeionic Technica app, which then triggers movements from the robot.
As SoraNews24 reports, the researchers' work is actually based on a fictional mind control mechanism from the Gundam anime series called 'Psycommu', which allows humans to control the robots using their minds.
The headband device created by the NeU researchers measures three different levels of brain activity, each of which is linked to a particular movement sequence.
A future of life-sized mind-controlled Gundam robots?
Interestingly, the Zaku package was actually designed not just as a toy, but also as a means to educate users on the basics of robotics and programming principles, according to Zeonic, making it the perfect platform for this project.
Though NeU's mind-controlled system is still in the prototype phase, this isn't Japan's only recent foray into bringing the fiction of Gundam into reality: in July we reported on a giant life-sized Gundam robot in Japan that is gradually being trained to add new movements to its repertoire.
Will we soon see a life-size Gundam robot piloted via mind control? If it happened really soon, it would certainly cap off a bizarre year in style. For a look at the mind-controlled prototype in action, check out the video below.