Project

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FOLDAWAY Haptic Controller: A force feedback remote controller for drones

Applicant Mintchev Stefano
Number 181840
Funding scheme Bridge - Proof of Concept
Research institution Laboratoire de robotique reconfigurable EPFL - STI - IGM - RRL
Institution of higher education EPF Lausanne - EPFL
Main discipline Other disciplines of Engineering Sciences
Start/End 01.08.2018 - 31.07.2019
Approved amount 126'464.00
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Keywords (3)

Aerial Robotics; Origami; Haptics

Lay Summary (Italian)

Lead
FOLDAWAY Drone Sense: un radiocomando per droni con feedback in forza
Lay summary

I droni stanno diventando onnipresenti nella nostra vita quotidiana con applicazioni che spaziano dalla raccolta di immagini e video per intrattenimento, all'ispezione industriale e all'agricoltura. Tuttavia, la teleoperazione dei droni è ancora oggi fortemente basta sul feedback visivo attraverso schermi o visori. Di conseguenza, i piloti sono spesso sopraffatti da informazioni visive e il pilotaggio dei droni richiede uno sforzo cognitivo continuo e una lunga pratica per padroneggiarne in sicurezza il volo. L'uso di interfacce tattili con feedback di forza è spesso citato come una soluzione per migliorare l'efficienza e la sicurezza della teleoperazione di droni. Tuttavia, le attuali interfacce tattili con feedback di forza sono dispositivi ingombranti e costosi che non possono essere integrati in un radiocomando portatile. L'obiettivo di questo progetto è di rivoluzionare le interazioni umano-drone con lo sviluppo del primo radiocomando portatile equipaggiato con un feedback tattile. Il radiocomando fornirà segnali in forza alle dita dell'utente per aumentarmene la consapevolezza sulla attitudine del drone, sulla sua dinamica e vicinanza ad eventuali ostacoli, aumentando la sicurezza e l'efficienza di pilotaggio.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 25.06.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Abstract

Drones are becoming ubiquitous in our daily lives with applications ranging from aerial imaging for entertainment to industrial inspection and agriculture. However, drones’ teleoperation still heavily relies on visual feedback through screens or googles. Consequently, pilots are overwhelmed by visual information and drones’ control becomes a challenge that requires a continuous cognitive effort and a long practice to be mastered at its full potential. The use of force feedback is often cited as a valuable solution for enhancing efficiency and safety of drones' teleoperation. However, current haptic interfaces with force feedback are bulky and expensive devices that can't be integrated into a portable remote controller.The goal of this project is to tackle the urge to revolutionize human-drone interactions with the development of the first portable remote controller empowered with rich haptic feedback. The remote controller will provide force cues to user's fingers in order to augment his awareness on drone's attitude, dynamics and proximity to obstacles, ultimately boosting flight experience, safety and efficiency.As a first step, the candidate will leverage his research achievements on origami micromachining to develop miniaturized and ultra-low cost haptic interfaces capable to apply accurate force feedback to users’ fingers. These interfaces will be used to replace the passive control sticks found in conventional remote controllers for drones. As a second and final step, the candidate will leverage his expertise in aerial robotics to investigate and integrate different haptic modes for interacting with off-the-shelf drones. The haptic modes will be designed to optimize learning efforts, while boosting immersion and obstacle awareness.The outcome of the project will be threefold: a) The development of a miniature haptic interface to be embedded in remote controllers, that will be designed targeting on future industrialization; b) The conduction of an experimental study with naïve users to quantify the benefits of the novel haptic remote on training time and flight performance; c) A demonstrator of the haptic remote coupled with an off-the-shelf-drone in order to showcase the technology. These tree outcomes will form a complete and compelling package to rise investors’ interest and will represent the final step toward the incorporation of the company FOLDAWAY Haptics.
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