This isn’t as much of a hands on as it is a brain-on. Mind-controlled Puzzlebox Orbit is the latest Kickstarter success from the same company that crafted Necomimi Cat Ears, and although that statement may make you question its cool factor, we can truly see some practicality with this educational toy.
Working off the NeuroSky EEG Bluetooth headset (the same ones in the cat ears), developer Steve Castellotti showcased the Puzzlebox Orbit’s by allowing us to wear the headband and just pure concentrate to get the helicopter flying. The brainwave data is transmitted via infrared signals from the headset to the iOS or Android app and measures your concentration level; The more focused you are, the higher the helicopter flies. To get the Orbit to stop flying, simply look away or relax your brains.
It’s an odd concept, and was pretty boggling that the device actually worked. At a highly focused level, the Orbit sprang into the air with great speed, forcing us to quickly look away to get it to drop back down to the ground. If anything, that’s our only gripe: You can’t particularly lower your focus to slow the helicopter’s speed. Instead, you just stop concentrating entirely and do your best to run and catch the gravity-prone helicopter. Castellotti says the Orbit is intended to help train mental focus in children (and adults, if necessary), but the application possibilities are endless since it runs on Open Source meaning anyone can have a crack at adding new capacities if they wish. Which is to say, that’s at least more useful than cat ears that wiggle according to mood.
The Puzzlebox Orbit is available today for $190.