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UF Ph.D. Students Developing Brain Robot Interaction Technology

A world where mind-controlled robots are helping humans on a daily basis -- that’s the goal Marvin Andujar and Chris Crawford are trying to achieve.

The two 25-year-old Ph.D. students at the University of Florida have expertise in different fields of engineering.

They are developing software to control machines to be used as life-enhancers to any operator. Whether it serves as an advancement in the medical field or a helpful hand around the house, the purpose of Brain Computer Interface technology is be an assistant or “third arm” to humans on an everyday basis, especially those with disabilities. Simple chores is where they’d like start, such as loading laundry, washing dishes or picking up around the house. But at the moment, they have achieved controlling a drone by flying it different directions.

"It is like a child project,” Crawford said. “We see it growing up to be something really big in the future"

Andujar and Crawford are supervised by their Ph.D. adviser, Juan Gilbert, Ph.D., who has been with them since the project began.

“It's a first step,” Gilbert said. “It's a huge first step, but that's exactly what it is. To use the drone as a first step to many other directions.”

James is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing