Special Reports

Korea Advance Institute of Science and Technology Successfully Mind Control Turtles


Researchers from Korea has managed to make mind control turtles possible. The research team used brain computer interface to make this sci-fi like feature become a reality. This could pave the way for a more advanced human-animal interaction in the future.

The researchers from the Korea Advance Institute of Science and Technology tapped into the turtle's natural fight or flight instinct to direct whether to go left, right, or just stay put, IFL Science reported. This new scientific innovation can help improve technology used for search and rescue missions. The experiment was published in the Journal of Bionic Engineering.

The experiment uses brain-to-computer and computer-to-brain interface. The former lets brain waves control robotics, while the latter lets robotics control brains. A camera is mounted on a turtles head to bring live video feed to a person. The human thinks whether the turtle should stay idle, go left, or go right, and the computer will transmit the order on a receiver on the turtle's shell, Daily Mail reported.

The receiver controls a semi-circular blind attached to the turtle's shell. It swings left to right depending on the thoughts of the person controlling the turtle. This makes the turtle instinctively move away from where the blind swings.

The researchers made the turtle navigate through a simple obstacle course by controlling it using a person's mind. The first experiment was done indoors. Meanwhile, the second was done outdoors, while the person controlling the turtle sits 5 kilometers away from the animal.

The experiment is done to a turtle since its fight-or-flight instinct is very strong. Turtles also have high cognitive ability, and they can effectively distinguish various wavelength of light. These attributes make them perfect guinea pigs for mind-control experiments.

Scientists in the past have successfully found a way to control animals using very thin electrodes that are implanted in the brains of these animals. However, these methods tend to get invasive and abusive for animals. The latest mind control experiment with turtles is a far more ethical method.

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