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Communications of the ACM

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Smart Jacket and VR Headset Let You Pilot a Drone With Your Body


The virtual reality headset/jacket system.

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne have created a virtual reality headset and jacket system that enables operators to control a drone using body movement.

Credit: New Scientist

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland say they have created a virtual reality (VR) headset and jacket system that enables operators to control a drone using only their body movement.

For example, when the user wearing the jacket moves their body to the left, the drone moves to the left, and if the user lunges forward, so does the drone.

The researchers say the headset enables the user to see what the drone sees, and built-in headphones provide the sounds surrounding the drone.

"The goal is to make people fly without ever leaving the ground," says EPFL researcher Dario Floreano.

He notes the jacket gives drone pilots a more intuitive way to control their aircraft, so they can focus on other tasks at the same time.

Initial testing has shown users learned to control a drone more quickly with the jacket than with standard joystick controls.

From New Scientist
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