In a previous article, we talked about the complex controls drones have. Sure, programs can make it possible for drones to fly autonomously. Even more programs these days add ability for drones to avoid incoming obstacles with its sensors.
But people still prefer being able to fly a drone themselves. A lot of drones have a sharp learning curve, so people often get discouraged. To alleviate this, researchers are trying to find a more ‘user friendly’ way to control these flying machines.
A Step Away From the Controller
A group of researchers in Switzerland created a body suit called the Flyjacket to fly drones. Instead of the traditional controller, the Flyjacket involves body movements and repetition. Armed alongside a VR helmet, the user can truly feel like they are the one ‘flying’ in the air. It gives it a more personal touch.
Another idea circulating around drone communities is controlling them with your mind. While the idea seemed too farfetched to actually be a reality, drone technicians have actually made a decent amount of progress. While the endeavor at Arizona State University has made some steps toward their goal, it seems we are still years away from actual mind controlled drones.
Controlling with your Eye’s Gaze
An idea that’s a combination of both a body suit and mind control helmet may be a good middle ground for easier drone control. Through a joint effort between universities in New York, Pennsylvania, and the US Army itself, they created eyeglasses that can control drones. It works by mapping your eye movement, and adding specific drone responses to it. If all goes well, you may be able to control where a drone flies just by looking at that direction.
Compared to learning a controller, using your eyes to gaze at certain directions seems like a cakewalk. Like any other experimental device however, the glasses need two things to actually work. First, the glasses, like any other device, needs practice from its user to get the most use of it. Another, is that the programming needs time to get it just right. You may not see this technology in stores near you for at least another few years, if ever.
But the premise is great. Gaze-controlled drones give their users the freedom and mobility that traditional controllers cannot offer. But will it be a success? That is a question only time (and the trends) can answer.