- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A quadriplegic woman recently took part in a Pentagon study that allowed her to fly a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter simulator with her mind.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said last week at its first annual Future of War conference in Washington that the feat was accomplished by a 55-year-old woman named Jan Scheuermann.

“Instead of thinking about controlling a joystick, which is what our ace pilots do when they’re driving this thing, Jan’s thinking about controlling the airplane directly,” said Arati Prabhakar, Military.com reported Monday. “For someone who’s never flown — she’s not a pilot in real life — she’s flying that simulator directly from her neural signaling.”

Ms. Scheuermann, who became paralyzed due to a rare genetic disease, volunteered to have two “pea-sized implants” placed on her left motor cortex for the experiment, the defense website reported. Those implants allow her to take part in DARPA experiments that involve controlling robotic limbs with just her thoughts.

“In doing this work, we’ve also opened this door,” Ms. Prabhakar told Military.com “We can now see a future where we can free the brain from the limitations of the human body, and I think we can all imagine amazing good things and amazing potential bad things that are on the other side of that door.”


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