Supersonic Psionics: Quadriplegic Jan Scheuermann Flies F-35 in Simulation

Image from animated film Macross Plus

Macross Plus was a 4-part animated film series that speculated the advancement of Human technology once integrated with an Alien warship. In the series; Guld Goa Bowman is an Alien/Human hybrid with the ability to telepathically control an Prototype fighter Jet called the YF-21 created in 2040.

Pictured: SCIENCE!
Pictured: SCIENCE!


Well, according to Arati Prabhakar, Director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA),  55-year-old Quadriplegic Jan Scheuermann was successfully able to use her thoughts through a breakthrough in neurosignaling technology  to control an F-35 and a single-engine Cessna in a flight simulator.

Scheuermann agreed to let surgeons implant two pea-sized electrode implants on her left motor cortex to control a robotic arm for an experimental Pentagon robotics program in 2012. While the left motor cortex is understood to control the movement on the right side of the body, Scheuermann was able to manipulate both right– and left-handed versions of the robotic limb, Prabhakar said.

Everybody Loves Chocolate!
Everybody Loves Chocolate!


A bored subject, Jan asked if she could try flying a simulator of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; the Pentagon’s newest (and most expensive) fighter jet.

Although the technology is being developed we are still far from Psychic pilots. There are still fundamental moral and ethical questions about the intersection of biology and robotics.

“In doing this work, we’ve also opened this door,” she said. “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.”- Arati Prabhakar Director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Find out more here.

Here is the Video of Jan’s Simulator Footage:


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