Researchers show off an experiment to non-invasively measure brain waves and turn them into controls for a model helicopter - moved by thought alone.
Researchers have harnessed the power of thought to guide a remote-control helicopter through an obstacle course.
The demonstration joins a growing number of attempts to translate the electrical patterns of thoughts into motions in the virtual and real world.
Applications range from assisting those with neurodegenerative disorders to novel modes of video game play.
The research in the Journal of Neural Engineering uses a non-invasive "cap" to capture brain electrical activity.
It is not the "mind-reading" of fiction. The approach, and others like it, require that an electronic system be "trained" to recognise patterns in an electroencephalograph - a map of electrical activity.
Those thoughts, such as that of making a fist with the left hand, are then correlated with motions of the helicopter - in this case to the left.
The electroencephalograph remains a chaotic and largely indecipherable mess of electrical signals, but those related to motion - or the mere thought of it - have proven to be comparatively strong and repeatable.
Such thoughts have already been used to steer a motorised wheelchair and a range of reliable brain signals have even been put to use in the world's first "brain orchestra".
Even technology firms see potential in the idea; Samsung is reportedly working on a "mind-control" tablet device.
When researchers can access the brain directly - with probes or implants - they can focus on more precise areas of brain activity, at the source.
Then, even finer control is possible - implants have helped people move a computer cursor using the subtler thoughts of vowel sounds, and have allowed both monkeys and paralysed humans to delicately control robotic arms.