Have you ever dreamed of flying? The Symbiotic Drone Activity is a project that aims to give you the sensation of flying while controlling a real drone. The goal of the symbiotic drone is not only to give a person on the ground the ability to easily control a drone by using their body movements, but also to give them the feeling that they are flying, and experiencing exactly what the drone is experiencing. We expect that this intuitive and immersive drone control method will enable professional, such as rescuers, film makers, security officers, use drone technologies without going through extensive training.
In order to achieve this fully immersive experience, NCCR Robotics researchers are investigating control systems, human physiology, out of body experiences and haptic feedback systems. Our researchers must create a jacket that monitors the movements and physiological stress states of the user, while using feedback systems to relay the “feelings” of the drone back to the users. On top of this, we must develop a drone that can easily be controlled using this unorthodox method and has a number of safety features to ensure that it never crashes. In order to fully give the user the feeling of flight, our researchers are also working on the concept of out of body experiences and constructing a second “peripersonal” space (the area that we perceive to be directly around us) that is actually distant to the user.