Friday, January 18, 2013

Flying a Robot Helicopter by the Seat of Your Pants

Greetings from the famous room N101 at the College of Engineering & Computer Science at the Australian National University, where summer students are reporting on their projects. One project is on the use of haptics (touch sense) for controlling UAVs (robot helicopters). Hobby model control aircraft are typically flow by the operator looking at the aircraft and using two joysticks. However,  a UAV can fly  out of the visual range. A camera can be used, but has limitations in terms of the field of view and the stability of the image. A pilot in an aircraft has other senses they can use, especially touch. This touch interface can be reproduced, typically with a force feedback joystick.

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