Tekever has demonstrated new brain computer interface (BCI) technology, which can control a drone from the ground using human brainwaves.

The technology is part of BRAINFLIGHT project, which is a collaboration of Portugal-based Tekever and Champalimaud Foundation, Netherlands-based Eagle Science and Technische Universität München in Germany.

As part of the demonstration, a pilot controlled the simulator of a twin-engine Diamond DA42 aircraft through BRAINLFIGHT’s BCI system.

The brain activity of the operator controls the drone’s path to perform a mission on the air, the company said. Electricity flowing through the pilot’s brain serves as an input to the drone control system.

"Electricity flowing through the pilot’s brain serves as an input to the drone control system."

The teams used electroencephalogram (EEG) technology, to evaluate brain waves and convert them into drone commands using specially-derived algorithms.

Tekever chief operating officer Ricardo Mendes was quoted by the BBC saying: "We believe people will be able to pilot aircraft just like they perform everyday activities like walking or running.

"We truly believe that Brainflight represents the beginning of a tremendous step change in the aviation field, empowering pilots and de-risking missions, and we’re looking forward to deliver these benefits to the market with highly innovative products."

The company said the technology could be implemented to control larger aircraft such as cargo jets in future.

Mr Mendes said: "There are algorithms on board that prevent bad things from happening. Technology is evolving, regulations are evolving. [Unmanned jets are] obviously going to happen."