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Scientists make incredible discovery in telekinesis

[Apr. 1, 2023: RS Shavit, The Brighter Side of News]

Scientists have advanced the first step towards real-time, remote and wireless mind control of metamaterials. (CREDIT: Creative Commons)

Metamaterials have captured extensive attention across many fields due to their remarkable physical properties. This has introduced a new approach to designing artificial materials, bringing energy and vibrancy to the development of advanced functional materials. Metasurfaces, as the two-dimensional counterpart to metamaterials, offer unparalleled flexibility in manipulating electromagnetic (EM) waves.

By programming on site, programmable metasurfaces (PMs) with multiple or switchable functions can be created and integrated with sensors or driven by pre-defined software. The self-adaptability of PMs significantly enhances their response rate, removing the need for human intervention. However, switching between different functions on these PMs is typically done through manual operation, with a fundamental framework that is wire-connected, manually-controlled, and non-real-time switched. Therefore, constructing an entire framework that can achieve remote, wireless, real-time, and mind-controlled functional metasurfaces is a fascinating prospect.


A team of scientists, led by Professor Shaobo Qu and Professor Jiafu Wang from Air Force Engineering University, alongside Professor Cheng-Wei Qiu from the National University of Singapore, have taken a significant step towards achieving real-time, wireless, and remote mind control of metamaterials. Their study, titled "Remotely Mind-controlled Metasurface via Brainwaves," proposes a framework for realizing this objective and was published in eLight.

For many scenarios, human involvement and participation have traditionally been necessary. Direct human control of the metasurface using the mind has been a well-established approach. Furthermore, it is widely known that when a person thinks, their brain generates brainwaves.


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The potential of brainwaves in enhancing the functionality of metasurfaces has been theorized by researchers. The hypothesis suggests that utilizing brainwaves as control signals would enable users to manipulate metasurfaces through their thoughts, leading to an increase in the response rate of these surfaces. If this theory were to be successfully implemented, it would signify a significant milestone in the development of intelligent metasurfaces.

A schematic diagram shows that people use brainwave control to manipulate electromagnetic waves, which can be extended in some illustrative scenarios, such as attention monitoring, reconfigurable antenna, fatigue monitoring, etc. (CREDIT: Ruichao Zhu, Jiafu Wang, Tianshuo Qiu, Yajuan Han, Xinmin Fu, Yuzhi Shi, Xingsi Liu, Tonghao Liu, Zhongtao Zhang, Zuntian Chu, Cheng-Wei Qiu, Shaobo Qu)

Overall, this idea of using brainwaves to control metasurfaces has the potential to revolutionize the field of metasurface technology, leading to improved functionality and performance. Further research and experimentation will be necessary to explore the feasibility of this theory and to determine its practical applications.


The research team was able to achieve remote control by transmitting brainwaves wirelessly from the user to the controller through Bluetooth. Their primary objective was to utilize the user's brainwaves to control the electromagnetic (EM) response of PMs. By taking this innovative approach, the researchers were able to demonstrate a Remote Magnetic Control Modulation (RMCM) technique where the user could control the scattering pattern remotely.

In the process of brainwave signal extraction and transmission, the TGAM module extracts brainwave signals and converts them to attention value. And the attention information is transmitted remotely from the Bluetooth module to the Arduino, which outputs different voltages by discriminating values. (CREDIT: Ruichao Zhu, Jiafu Wang, Tianshuo Qiu, Yajuan Han, Xinmin Fu, Yuzhi Shi, Xingsi Liu, Tonghao Liu, Zhongtao Zhang, Zuntian Chu, Cheng-Wei Qiu, Shaobo Qu)

The ability to remotely control PMs using brainwaves represents a significant breakthrough in technology, with numerous potential applications in areas such as medicine, robotics, and virtual reality. The team's findings could pave the way for further research in the field of remote control, with the potential for even more advanced applications in the future.


The simulation and testing of a new brain-computer interface revealed a remarkable result: the user's brainwaves directly influenced the outcome, leading to a significantly better control rate and switch rate. These findings demonstrate that the model used in the interface was far superior to any other existing model or product in the market.

In the microwave anechoic chamber, the operator remotely controls the metasurface coding sequence through the brainwave module which will affect the scattering mode of EM waves. The test reveals that EM wave can be controlled via the people’s mind. (CREDIT: Ruichao Zhu, Jiafu Wang, Tianshuo Qiu, Yajuan Han, Xinmin Fu, Yuzhi Shi, Xingsi Liu, Tonghao Liu, Zhongtao Zhang, Zuntian Chu, Cheng-Wei Qiu, Shaobo Qu)

Furthermore, this design has the potential to be customized further to improve the accuracy of the equipment. The ability to fine-tune the interface could lead to even more precise control over the outcome, opening up new possibilities for those who rely on brain-computer interfaces for communication and control.


The research team aims to integrate intelligent algorithms with their findings to enhance future processes. They are confident that their approach can be easily adapted for other functional or multi-functional metasurfaces controlled by the mind. Potential applications of this technology range from health monitoring to 5G/6G communications and smart sensors.

For more science news stories check out our New Innovations section at The Brighter Side of News.


Note: Materials provided above by The Brighter Side of News. Content may be edited for style and length.


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