Search and rescue operations require fast and effective means of communication—every second counts. Now that drones and robots are starting to assist in these high-pressure situations, researchers are trying to develop a simple way to achieve human-machine cooperation.
A team from the Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Autonomy Lab has turned to artificial intelligence (AI) to advance intuitive drone technologies that function without a standard controller.
“Most commercial drones today come with controllers which work really well, but sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where your hands are busy,” says Richard Vaughan, SFU computing science professor, and leader of the research.
“Or maybe you weren’t expecting to interact with a drone today so you don’t have special equipment with you. We’d like to be able to command drones in these situations and make the interaction natural and intuitive,” Vaughan adds.
The SFU team is trying to control a drone’s flight direction via arm gestures. They’re also attempting to build a device that executes demands based on facial expressions.
“We would like to get to the point where interacting with a robot is as easy as working with a co-worker or a trained animal,” says Vaughan.
When lives are on the line, it’s imperative that quick, efficient, and reliable communication is in effect, whether humans or machines are on duty.
You can watch the researchers’ progress in the video below.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense