It can be a struggle for drone operators to fly the multi-propeller device while also taking pictures at the same time. However, Purdue University Professor of Computer Graphics Technology, Bedrich Benes, and doctoral student Hao Kang have collaborated with corporate researchers in order to develop a method to make this process easier.
The touchscreen method, which is called FlyCam, works with the concept of combining the drone and camera movements.
According to TechXplore, Benes says it’s “so the user doesn’t have to think about multiple controls for the drone and the camera. He or she can think about the drone as a simple three-dimensional flying camera that is being controlled by simple gestures on a touchscreen device.”
Traditional drone controls utilize dual joysticks for drone navigation, as well as another joystick and gimbal (a pivoted support, which allows single axis rotation) to control the camera.
According to TechXplore, Kang says, “We did a user study and most of the users performed with the FlyCam better. It is easier to use just a single simple mobile device compared to a combination of cumbersome remote controls.”
(Video Credit: Purdue University)
Part of the research involved looking at the abilities of licensed drone pilots with a remote control compared to people who had used a drone for the first time using FlyCam.
According to TechXplore, the results impressed the computer graphics technology professor, who says, “The people who picked up a drone for the first time were equal or better than those who were licensed to fly. That is what actually impressed us the most.”
The FlyCam touchscreen method was tested using an Android system. Also according to TechXplore, results showed that “fliers worked better when using a tablet, which allowed for larger movements and better control.”
Benes and Kang will continue working on the drone navigation research, which will include automated photos from the camera.
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